Acclaimed drama queen Jana Pittman added another
role to her impressive repertoire yesterday. Her last-minute decision to pull
out of yesterday’s Queen’s Baton Relay perfectly captured the spoilt little
schoolgirl, who takes her baton and ball and runs off home when things don’t go
her way.

Just consider her excuse for pulling out: she didn’t want
to risk her suspect hamstring. Sorry, Jana, but as excuses go, this is no
better than piss poor. Even Raelene Boyle, a strong supporter, shook her head.

Yes, the injury was significant enough for her to miss last
Thursday’s IAAF meet at Olympic Park, but she was soon back on the training
track after a subsequent scan cleared her of any serious injury. Let’s repeat
that: the medicos said she was okay.

Surely, if she can train, she could have ambled along the
500 or so metres she was lined up to run in the baton relay. Hell, if she was
that worried about it, she could have done what half the relay runners seem to
do anyway, and walked.

No, we suspect the stifling scrutiny that, she says, is
driving her to take refuge in the UK had
more than a little to do with her decision. Which is a shame because it shows
she doesn’t truly appreciate the Australian public’s capacity to forgive and
forget.

The entire episode also makes a total joke of her comments
all of four days ago, where she bemoaned how her image was all about drama now. That’s easily fixed, Jana – grow up.

Australians admire people like Shane Warne and Greg Norman
who, despite whatever barbs are thrown at them, keep fronting up for more. If
Pittman wants to turn her image around, she should do the same.

The way we see it, the only blessing in all this is that we
haven’t got pouting, stressed out Jana spoiling the last leg of the Baton
Relay. It would be a shame to think that a journey of so many nations and oodles
of runners ends with track’s drama diva, caught up in her own melodrama instead
of embracing fans who wish to embrace her.

Much better that a classy athlete like Jane Saville gets a
moment in the sun.

Peter Fray

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