CWG: Canada's Mark Boswell retained high jump title
MELBOURNE, Mar 22: Canada's Mark Boswell retained his Commonwealth Games high jump title today in a competition marred by controversy.
Boswell clinched victory on countback from England's Martyn Bernard after both cleared 2.26 metres at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
But Bernard, 21, was in almost constant dialogue with the competition officials after he complained his marker had been moved during one of Boswell's final efforts.
''Mark ran through in his first attempt at 2.29 and knocked over my marker,'' said Bernard, who left the arena in tears at the event's conclusion.
''My time ran out so I asked the judge whether it could be taken again, they said no. At the second attempt I asked for the bar to be raised to 2.31.
''However, they pretended they didn't hear me. My name came up at 2.29 on the scoreboard, I didn't want to jump that height so I went to the judge and said 'I asked for 2.31.' She didn't say anything to me,'' Bernard told reporters.
Bernard returned to his mark assuming the next effort was at 2.31 metres, only to see 2.29 appear on the scoreboard. The judges declined to move the bar at his request, forcing him to miss his second attempt too.
''For my third attempt (still at 2.29) I wasn't in the right frame of mind to jump. I don't feel I had a fair crack at it.
Everyone is telling me I should be happy with silver but I feel I've been cheated,'' he said.
The dispute marred an impressive high jump contest with Boswell, Bernard, Cypriot Kyriacos Iannou and Donald Thomas of the Bahamas all going clear at 2.23.
Boswell cleared 2.26 on his first attempt. Bernard went over on his third effort which left the bar quivering, while the other two dropped out. Iannou won the bronze medal on countback.
Boswell missed with all three of his attempts at 2.29.
The delays as Bernard conferred with the judges clearly got to Boswell, who prowled around the high jump area with clear impatience.
''I lost my focus but unexpected things happen,'' Boswell said. ''I wasn't prepared for that situation. I have never dealt with anything like that before.''