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Bahamian Williams-Darling blames competition timing for her surprise loss

23 March 2006

Bahamian World and Olympic champion Tonique Williams-Darling has blamed the timing of the competition at the 18th Commonwealth Games, now taking place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), as the main reason for her surprise defeat in the women's 400 metres finals on Tuesday.

Williams-Darling, who had predicted that she would run a sub-50 seconds time in a bid to emulate her hero, Australian Cathy Freeman, who won the Olympic, Commonwealth and world championship gold, was on her way to fulfill that dream until she was run down by the same runner for the second time in the event.

After a quick start and a steady flowing 300m, the Bahamian was caught on the final bend by England's Christine Ohuruogu, who repeated her semi-final performance to leave the 'red hot' favourite disappointed.

Ohuruogu finished well clear of an exhausted, seemingly disinterested Williams-Darling, who assessed her race gloomily.

"Before the race I felt like I didn't want to run," the Bahamas superstar said in disappointment.

"It was only my fifth race of the season, three of which I ran in the last three days, so I feel right now, where I am at, I'm comfortable for the year ahead."

Despite stating her happiness at winning a medal, one could clearly see the frustration in the 30-year-old’s expression as to wonder why she bothered turning up at all.

"I am happy that I got a medal. It's probably not the medal of choice but a medal nonetheless."

"It's another medal on the shelf and that shelf was empty for a lot of years so I am just happy to put something on there."

For all her efforts Williams-Darling took home the silver in 50.76 seconds behind Ohuruogu's personal best winning time of 50.28sec.

Jamaican World Indoor Novlene Williams, who had been on the wrong end of some close decisions in her previous visit down under, finished with the bronze in 51.12.

She was followed home by fellow islanders, Bahamian World indoor bronze medallist Christine Amertil (51.52), Jamaican champion Shericka Williams (51.81) and Hazel Regis (52.35) of Grenada.

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