Sullivan collapses after going too hard - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sullivan collapses after going too hard

By Jordan Baker 28/09/2004 07:10:01 PM Comments (0)

Sprinter Tim Sullivan only knows one speed - flat out.

It cost him an Australian record 10th Paralympic gold medal and his teammates victory in the 4x400m relay in Athens.

Sullivan, a 29-year-old with cerebral palsy from Melbourne, won every one of his five races in 2000 and was tipped to repeat the feat in 2004.

But before he won his ninth gold medal in the 400m, the relay ended in collapse and controversy.

The team's plan was to stay within 10m of the leaders and leave Sullivan to make up the difference in the last leg.

Fourth at the final baton change, Sullivan gave everything, overtaking three runners to claim the lead after 300m.

But he had gone out too hard.

With 100m to go his body began to ache with lactic acid, he lost coordination, his legs buckled and he collapsed.

"My legs just went underneath me, they just stopped," Sullivan said.

Sullivan's coach Brett Jones moved quickly to hose down any reaction a la the women's rowing eight and Sally Robbins.

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