Two kilometres from the finish line, Claire Tallent was set to win the gold medal on Saturday after dominating the women’s 20km walk.
For the Olympian who gave birth to her first child less than a year ago, a win at the 2018 Commonwealth Games would’ve meant so much more than taking home gold. She wanted to show the world that women don’t have to chose between achieving their dreams and being a good mum.
They can do both. She could do both.
But with one lap to go, the 36-year-old was given her third and final red paddle signifying her disqualification from the race.
Watch the heartbreaking moment Tallent was disqualified below. Post continues after video.
She broke down, her weary legs sinking to the ground as she burst into uncontrollable sobs. With that red paddle vanished months, years of hard work and sacrifices.
“I wanted to show the world that women that have babies can do anything. They can come back and they can be competitive and you don’t have to stop doing what you love because you’re having a baby.”
But what Tallent did next, despite her personal disappointment, showed Australia and the world what true sportsmanship looks like. What being a strong woman looks like.
Pulling herself off the bitumen, she put aside her own loss and made her way to the finish line to cheer on fellow fast walker Jemima Montag as she went on to win the gold medal for Australia.
“You know, I’m old and all credit, kudos to Jemima, she’s a great girl and she’s going to carry the flag for many, many, many more years to come…” Tallent said after graciously embracing her teammate.
“I just thought it was my day that’s all.”