Sea at­tack on teen a puz­zle

Townsville Bulletin - - NATION -

AUS­TRALIA’S golden girl Betty Cuth­bert, who set the na­tion alight with her as­tound­ing feats at the Mel­bourne Olympics, lost the race she could never win on Sun­day night, dy­ing af­ter a 48- year bat­tle with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis.

Cuth­bert burst into the na­tional con­scious­ness as a mod­est 18year- old at the 1956 games, when she won ev­ery sprint gold medal avail­able to women – the 100m, the 200m and the 4x100m re­lay.

In­jury would rob her of the chance to de­fend her ti­tles at the 1960 Rome games but she re­turned at Tokyo in 1964 to win her fourth gold medal, this time in the 400m. Cuth­bert re­mains the only ath­lete in his­tory to win Olympic gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m events.

She was the first Australian in­ducted into the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions Hall of Fame when it was founded in 2012, along­side leg­ends such as Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.

Yes­ter­day, friends, fam­ily and ad­mir­ers re­mem­bered the 79year- old as a mod­est but com­mit­ted ath­lete who fought hard on the track and even harder off it.

Australian Olympic Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent John Coates paid trib­ute to Cuth­bert, say­ing Aus­tralia had lost a sport­ing leg­end.

“Betty was the golden girl of the track and a na­tional hero­ine,” Mr Coates said. “It’s very sad to lose such a great cham­pion.”

Cathy Free­man, the only other Australian to have won 400m Olympic gold, said it was “a very sad day”.

“Betty is an in­spi­ra­tion and her story will con­tinue to in­spire Australian ath­letes for gen­er­a­tions to come,” Free­man said. “I’m so happy I got to meet such a tremen­dous and gra­cious role model, and Olympic cham­pion.”

El­iz­a­beth Al­yse Cuth­bert was born, feet first, in Mer­ry­lands in 1938 – sec­onds be­fore her younger twin Marie. As a child she would run up and down the rows in the fam­ily’s nurs­ery. At age eight, run­ning bare­foot, she would beat boys and girls alike in races at Er­m­ing­ton Pub­lic School.

She was no­ticed by a teacher, who en­cour­aged her to run com­pet­i­tively, set­ting her on an early path to a NSW cham­pi­onship.

While har­bour­ing a killer in­stinct as an ath­lete, Cuth­bert re­mained mod­est. She rated her chances of se­lec­tion in the 1956 Australian team so poorly that she bought tick­ets to at­tend the Mel­bourne Games as a spec­ta­tor.

In 1969 she dis­cov­ered she had mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis.

She would bat­tle the con­di­tion for the rest of her life. Gold medal Mel­bourne Olympic Games — 1956 Gold medal Mel­bourne Olympic Games — 1956 Gold medal Mel­bourne Olympic Games — 1956 Gold medal medal Tokyo Olympic Olympic Games — — 1964 1964 BETTY WAS THE GOLDEN GIRL OF THE TRACK AND A NA­TIONAL HERO­INE ... A GREAT CHAM­PION SEA lice, stingrays and jel­ly­fish lar­vae are all sus­pected of at­tack­ing Mel­bourne teenager Sam Kanizay who emerged from a beach swim with both legs bleed­ing pro­fusely. Try­ing to solve the grue­some mys­tery, Sam’s fa­ther Jar­rod Kanizay took meat in a net into the water and recorded footage show­ing dozens of crit­ters feed­ing on the chunks. Jeff Weir, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Dol­phin Re­search In­sti­tute says the crit­ters in the video are likely sea lice. But par­a­site ex­pert Dr Thomas Cribb from the Univer­sity of Queens­land said: “It’s not a par­a­site I’ve ever come across.” UP to 160 res­i­dents evac­u­ated from a high- rise unit block in Syd­ney’s south face at least an­other night out of home af­ter a crane col­lapsed onto the side of their build­ing. Au­thor­i­ties have be­gun in­ves­ti­gat­ing what caused the Sun­day morn­ing in­ci­dent at Wolli Creek as en­gi­neers help to dis­man­tle the crane, which smashed into a top- floor pent­house apart­ment of the multi- storey build­ing, crush­ing the bal­cony. It comes as a con­struc­tion union calls for a halt to the use of can­tilever cranes un­til in­de­pen­dent en­gi­neers’ re­ports can prove they have been put to­gether cor­rectly. THE death of a refugee on Manus Is­land has sparked calls for Australian au­thor­i­ties to in­ter­vene af­ter what ad­vo­cates have de­scribed as a pre­ventable tragedy. The man’s death is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by PNG au­thor­i­ties. The man is un­der­stood to have taken his own life be­fore he was due to move from de­ten­tion into the Pa­pua New Guinean com­mu­nity. “More deaths are likely un­less the Australian Govern­ment acts im­me­di­ately to bring these peo­ple, on both Manus Is­land and Nauru, to safety in Aus­tralia,” Dr David Berger of Doc­tors for Refugees said yes­ter­day.

LEFT: Cuth­bert ac­cepts the gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Games. BE­LOW FROM LEFT: Cuth­bert with medals from the 1956 Mel­bourne Olympics; A por­trait of Cuth­bert in the Na­tional Gallery; Cuth­bert wins in 1956; Torch­bearer Cuth­bert is pushed by Rae­lene Boyle a

AOC PRES­I­DENT JOHN COATES

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