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National News

Cuthbert honoured, as Wells competes in 400m hurdles

Tuesday, 8 August 2017 | Anonym

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The 2017 IAAF World Championships have honoured Betty Cuthbert this evening, with the sold-out stadium standing for a minute silence to recognise the four-time medallist from Melbourne 1956 and Tokyo 1964.

As music played in the background, the big screen at each end of the iconic venue featured memorable images of the only athlete, male or female, to ever win the 100m, 200m and 400m title at the Olympic Games.

As tributes flowed for Cuthbert, Jess Trengove a member of the leadership group, honoured Cuthbert as "a legend of the sport" on behalf of Team Australia currently competing in London.

"Team Australia extends our sympathies to her family and friends at this sad time."

"You can be sure that the green and gold will be doing all that they can to honour her legacy here in London."

"She was one of the best we've ever seen compete for Australia and she inspires athletes to this day when they put on the national uniform."

Cuthbert was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969 and was restricted to a wheelchair in recent years. In one of her last public appearances, Cuthbert carried the Olympic torch in the stadium before the cauldron was ignited to open the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

MS Research Australia CEO Mathew Miles spoke of Cuthbert's battle off the track, and said that her effort in raising awareness and funds for MS research was immeasurable.

We would never have been able to achieve the sort of fundraising that we have over the last 13 years without Betty Cuthbert and that, in turn, has led to some really significant Australian breakthroughs in multiple sclerosis research, undoubtedly," Mr Miles said.

"She loomed large in the genesis of MS Research Australia," Mr Miles said.

The Western Australian government has offered the Cuthbert family a state funeral.

On the track in London, Australia’s only representative Lauren Wells (ACT) wore a black armband in memory of the ‘Golden Girl’ of the track, but her performance did not go to plan.

Competing in heat one of the women’s 400m hurdles, Wells, the national champion, clocked 56.49 to place seventh in her heat and she will not progress to the final.

Among those that would have progressed on time until the fifth heat, Wells was overrun by the athletes in the hotly contested final qualifying race, missing a start in the next round by 0.08 seconds.

Wells was the only green and gold starter on day four of the IAAF World Championships.

Competition returns to the London Stadium tomorrow evening, with Kurtis Marschall (SA) and Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT) to lead the green and gold charge in the final of the men’s pole vault and women’s javelin throw respectively.

On the track, Ella Nelson (NSW) and Riley Day (Qld) will compete in the first round of the women’s 200m. Day, aged just 17, will start in the lane next to Olympic and world championships silver medallist, Dafne Schippers (NED).

To view and download results from day two of the IAAF World Championships, please click here.

For more information on Team Australia, please click here to visit the hub at athletics.com.au.

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