Aussie sprinter Jake Doran has capitalised on a rival’s extraordinary blunder to advance to the 100m semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games.
Doran was coming third in his heat in Birmingham on Tuesday and in real danger of missing out on the semis.
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But Jamaican runner Nigel Ellis eased up near the finish-line and failed to duck his head, seeing Doran pip him for second place in a tight finish.
“I reckon Doran has got it. I reckon he might’ve got second, because Ellis was leaning back and Jake was leaning forward,” Bruce McAvaney said in commentary for Channel 7.
“It is oh so close.”
Retired Aussie runner Tamsyn Manou added: “That was a rookie error by Ellis, who just leaned back on the line.
“You want to run through with that chest and Jake Doran, he’s been taught well by his coach Paul Di Bella and he finished that race strong.
“Doran’s doing the right thing, his desperate lean on the line gets him through.”
The brain fade from Ellis meant Doran advanced to the semi-finals in his place because the Aussie ended up the slowest automatic qualifier.
With only the top two from each race automatically advancing to the semis, Doran’s time wasn’t enough to get him to the next round.
“I was thinking to myself I can cut the jets here and then thought actually there is a Jamaican next to me, so I probably should run through the line,” Doran after the race.
“I’m just happy to finish that race in one piece and get ready for tomorrow.
“We’re just going through the rounds, long season, the body’s starting to tire.
“I got to 60 (metres), I figured the Jamaican might give a bit more juice but I found myself in front of him, so I could switch off a little bit.”
Doran went head-to-head with his heat winner Akani Simbine at the recent world championships.
“I know I can stay with him for the first 60,” he said.
“So going into the next round tomorrow, I’ll be a bit quicker and we’ll see what we can do.”
Rohan Browning makes a statement to make 100m semis
Yupun Abeykoon of Sri Lanka was the fastest qualifier in 10.06, with Ferdinand Omanyala (10.07) and Emmanuel Eseme (10.08) not far behind.
Aussie star Rohan Browning was the equal-fourth fastest qualifier after winning his heat in 10.10.
Two weeks ago at the world championships in Eugene, Browning was gutted to be eliminated in the heats after running a 10.22.
“I have struggled a bit on the circuit this year and the losses really started to pile up,” said the 24-year-old Browning.
“But I knew I had a run like that in me. I stumbled out of the blocks and it was far from the perfect race (but) it’s by far my best run of the year.”
Suddenly the crushing disappointment of Eugene was firmly in the past.
“There’s always that humiliation element when you get run out in the heats but you just try to bounce back from it and not take it to heart,” said Browning, who went within a whisker of becoming the second Australian to break the 10-second mark when he stopped the clocked at 10.01 at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“Just trust that the form is there, it’s just in the execution.
“I think I’ve tapped into a good vein of form for these championships.”
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