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Calab lays down the Law, claims gold in Pacific Games sprint

Andrew Mathieson -

It was a case of one down, one to go, in the Solomon Islands mission for the Olympic-destined sprinter Calab Law.

The Wakka Wakka man claimed one of Australia's five gold medals on the track at the 2023 Pacific Games late on Tuesday evening.

An unruffled Law, who witnessed an unsettling disqualification following a false start from one of his rivals, completed an impressive finish in the men's 100 metres final to win a last-gasp sprint to end day one of the athletics program.

The gold will take pressure off the 19-year-old from Caboolture ahead of his favoured 200-metre pet event that begins its heats on Wednesday before the final ends on Friday.

After medal hope Leeroy Kamau, of Papua New Guinea, vacated lane four, Law would have Indigenous supporters nervous at one stage from being forced to mount a dramatic comeback behind early leader Australian Lachlan Kennedy.

A sluggish start out of the blocks from lane seven had Law slip well behind a number of inside runners into fourth by the halfway point.

Calab Law (left) makes up ground on fellow Australian Lachlan Kennedy. (Images: Pacific Games committee)

Kennedy steadied throughout and looked the goods until Law levelled inside the final 25 metres and pulled away to the line strongly to cross in a time of 10.40 seconds.

The fellow Queenslander settled for a silver medal, finishing 0.09 seconds behind his teammate and adversary.

"It means a lot to come here and be able to run well," Law told said, via Pacific Games.

The 100m victory was his first major international gold-medal result in an open-age competition soon after scoring a bronze at the 2022 under-20 world championships.

While racing for a time quick enough to qualify for a spot in the Australian athletics team at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games had been Law's priority, the country's only Aboriginal representative at the track and field events will be under pressure regardless to defend his regional title in Tahiti 2027.

"Four years is a long time, so we'll see," Law said.

Law's time of 10.40 was the third-fastest time in Pacific Games history. (Image: Oceania Athletics)

Law's time was just outside the Games record set in 2019 by three-time Pacific 100m gold medallist, Banuve Tabakaucoro, of Fiji, in 10.31 seconds.

He posted the third-fastest race since the Games began in 1962, and it was an Australian athlete's best 100m time, albeit at the Pacific associate member's third-ever turnout.

Summer Law could not contain her excitement over her "Deadly" brother's win after putting out a social media post.

"So proud of you and so happy for you – you're doing your family proud," she wrote.

"(Son) Tyreyne loves seeing you on TV.

"He gave you a little wave back at the start.

"Glad my sons (are) growing up with uncles like you to be inspired by."

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