Sad end for Aussies as relays fall flat
THE image of Mel Breen face down on the Carrara Stadium track unfortunately summed up Australia's relay woes on Saturday afternoon.
The national 100m record holder stumbled as she pushed off to run in the final leg and ended up crashing to the track as Riley Day arrived with the baton.
In the end, the embarrassing slip-up didn't matter as Australia would have been disqualified anyway after lead-off runner Brianna Beahan ran out of her lane before her exchange with Maddie Coates.
The 4x100m debacle comes a day after the men's 4x400m team was disqualified in the heats after Steve Solomon lined up in the wrong position for the final baton change.
Breen, who has had injury issues all season, put on a brave face afterwards.
"I don't know (what happened)," she said. "I pushed off and my leg said, 'Yeah, nah we're not going to come to the party today'.
"It's that left side, which is the one we have had issues with for a while."
England took the gold in a new national record time of 42.46sec from Jamaica and Nigeria.
The dramatic women's sprint came after Australia's men finished fourth in the 4x100m when looking a chance for a medal at the final change.
Josh Clarke accepted the baton in second place but was swamped by South African Akani Simbine - the 100m gold medallist from earlier in the week - and former world champion Yohan Blake.
Simbine was well behind Clarke and Blake when he took the baton but was able to easily overtake both.
While taking down the young Australian wasn't a total surprise, the way he overhauled Blake continued a poor championships for the Jamaican who had been anointed as the replacement for Usain Bolt.
The disappointing result prompted Bolt to tweet afterwards that he may have to reconsider his retirement: "Did I retire too son? Hmmm."
England completed a sweep of the sprint relays to take gold in 38.13sec from South Africa (38.24sec) and Jamaica (38.35sec).
Australia's team of Trae Williams, Rohan Browning, Jack Hale and Clarke clocked a season's best 38.58sec.
The women's 4x400m relay team was also in bronze medal contention for most of the event before fading to finish fifth.To be fair to Morgan Mitchell she had her hands full on the final leg with the newly crowned individual 400m champion, Botswana's Amantle Montsho.
Montsho got the baton in fifth but at the top of the straight she charged past Australia and England to grab the bronze medal.
Jamaica easily won the gold medal in 3min24.00 from Nigeria. Australia's team of Anneliese Rubie, Caitlin Sargent-Jones, Lauren Wells and Mitchell clocked a season's best 3:27.43sec.