Australia’s Cedric Dubler makes an attempt in the javelin throw. Photo: Matt DunhamRio de Janeiro: Cedric Dubler isn’t the first Australian athlete to apologise during these Olympics, but his reason for doing so is probably the most unusual.
The decathlete’s Olympic debut took an unfortunate turn on Thursday night when during the penultimate event of his competition – the javelin – Dubler’s second throw went askew and nearly struck a cameraman.
“He nearly took out some cameramen here, I’m not even joking,” 2008 Olympic pole vault medallist Steve Hooker said on Channel Seven’s coverage.
“You can see there in the background a few cameramen are congratulating each other on still being alive.”
Dubler was distressed in the immediate aftermath, but could see the funny side of the incident come night’s end
“It didn’t go as planned,” Dubler said of his throw.
“My body was starting to shut down. I don’t know what happened. The tail sort of hit the ground, it sort of spun out and almost hit a cameraman. So a little bit embarrassing, but I apologised to him and he was good.”
Dubler recovered well, finishing strongly by running a personal best of 4:32.12 in his 1500m heat, and ended up 14th in the field with 8024 points.
American world record-holder Ashton Eaton defended his crown from London four years ago, taking gold with an Olympic record 8893 points. Frenchman Kevin Mayer (8834) won silver, while Canada’s Damian Warner (8666) took bronze.
Dubler, 21, said he was proud with the way his competition wrapped up.
“We had a little bit of time to go back…put the headphones on, have a bit of a massage just to try and get the body moving a little bit. I guess that time allowed me to focus on what I needed to do, reset the goals and focus on what I needed to do in the 1500,” he said.
“I needed 4:35 to break the 8000 point barrier. After a few of the events didn’t go quite right I had to sort of readjust the goals so 8000 became the goal for the competition.”
He said that overall his Games had been a relative success.
“I’ve learnt a lot. Some of the events didn’t go quite as planned but I was pretty happy with how I was able to re-focus on certain events.
“Overall I’m very happy with the experience of the competition, and I’m very happy with how myself and all the other decathletes have gotten along.
“I’m excited to go back, go back to the drawing board, see what we can improve on with an even better result.”
He also said his preparation had been compromised by a transport delay following day one of the two-day event.
“I didn’t pull up from day one as well as I would have liked to. We had a little bit of a wait for the bus after the competition,” he said.
“I didn’t actually get to sleep until 1am, and I had to be up at 5:15.
“It was an 18-hour day yesterday.”
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