TOUGHASK: Brent Livermore held the Kookaburras together as the Pakistan team, with its physical approach, attempted to unsettle
TOUGHASK: Brent Livermore held the Kookaburras together as the Pakistan team, with its physical approach, attempted to unsettle

Ironman displays nerves of steel

By DAVID LEMS in Melbourne

THREE consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medals, a new baby and nerves of steel.

Grafton's Brent Livermore yesterday stood proud after the Australian Kookaburras outsmarted a volatile Pakistan side to win 3-0 and secure the gold medal.

The game was particularly nasty and spiteful, with Pakistan player Tariq Aziz sent off in the second half for smacking Kookaburra Robert Hammond in the mouth.

But instead of getting involved in the ongoing niggle, the super-fit Livermore just sidestepped it to ensure he added another gold medal to his bulging collection.

"It's just been enormous," Livermore, 29, said amid jubilant scenes at the State Hockey Centre.

He was still beaming after winning gold and on a high after the arrival of daughter Zoe through the week.

"I got up there to see my new baby over the past 24 hours and I went home yesterday and I've just brought that excitement back," he said.

"To be part of the 1998 team and 2002 and make it three in a row with the Kookaburras is unbelievable. I don't think I've realised what we've achieved."

Livermore, who rated yesterday's victory the toughest of his three Games gold medals, praised his Aussie team for rising above Pakistan's dubious tactics.

"I think we did really well as a team today and it was fantastic effort," he said.

"I think it was a bit of a turning point when they had the guy sent off. The game could have gone either way."

Livermore, highly respected for his work ethic, took a leadership role when it counted for Australia.

"We had to be really disciplined in that instance and just stay on target," he said.

"I think that was one of my jobs. It was getting pretty heated in there."

Standing on the medal dais, Livermore was the 14th player to collect his gold medal.

He was clearly emotional as he took an extra victory stroll on his own, soaking up the occasion.

Livermore's next major assignment is the World Cup in September. But his first focus will be rejoining wife Belinda for what promises to be a special celebration at home.



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