Jana Drama 3: Pittman v Tamsyn

Posted on 13 March 2006 - 10:17

Australian team officials moved on Monday to defuse an ugly row after veteran Jamaican Sandie Richards launched a stinging attack on a fellow 400m runner under the wing of Olympic champion Cathy Freeman.
Richards, the Commonwealth Games 400m record holder, slammed Australia’s Tamsyn Lewis as a joke who attacks other athletes to draw glory and sponsorship after she called teammate Jana Pittman, a former world No.1 hurdler, “a bitch”.

“Jana shouldn’t be threatened by Tamsyn. She is a top-class athlete, way better than Tamsyn will ever be …,” Richards was quoted as saying in The Australian newspaper.

“Tamsyn called another athlete a bitch, how can you look up to a person like that? You lower yourself as a woman and an athlete to do that.”

Australian chef de mission John Devitt issued a statement to try and cool matters down, saying Pittman and Lewis were both “highly valued and well-performed members of the Australian team”.

He said both of them continued to have the support of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association.

“Both girls have proved themselves at all levels in international competition, and the Australian team as a whole is looking forward to seeing them on the track, and successful, in Melbourne,” Devitt said.

“They have our complete support. As members of the 4x400m relay team they are more than just team-mates, they are united in a quest for success and we are united behind them.”

Freeman, who won the 400m gold medal at the Sydney Olympics but has now retired, is helping Lewis warm up before the opening race of the 400m here on Sunday.

The women’s 400m is shaping as one of the most anticipated of the Games with not just Lewis and Pittman in contention but also Olympic and world champion Tonique Williams-Darling from Barbados.


Tamsyn’s night ends fast :rolleyes: Didn’t slow that big mouth

By Toby Forage
Fox Sports editor
March 20, 2006

THE feud is over, but so too is Tamsyn Lewis’s Commonwealth Games 400m campaign after she failed to negotiate her semi-final tonight.

Lewis finished fourth in the third semi-final, grinding to the line as she tired badly for a time of 52.88sec.

World champion Tonique Williams was way ahead for second place in 50.97sec, while England’s Christine Ohuruogu, fourth at the Athens Olympics and failing to make last year’s world championship final, won the race in 50.87, finishing fast over the Barbadian star.

Lewis pinpointed her failure immediately after the race.

“I’m just hurting. I went out hard. Too hard, I think,” she said.

“I gave it everything out there. I had nothing left to give. I put myself in a position to win but the other girls were too good.”

In the two other semi-finals, the other girls proved too good for Australia’s other entrants, too.

Teenager Jaimee Hoebergen, a world junior bronze medal winner three years ago from Wollongong in New South Wales, finished sixth in her race clocking 53.26sec.

It was a disappointing run considering she has been well under 53 seconds in the past, most recently while racing in November last year.

The women’s final is tomorrow night at the MCG.