Lamble walks her way into top 10
20 August 2016
ATHLETICS: Regan Lamble has achieved a top-10 finish in the women’s 20km walk to record the third best performance by an Australian in the event’s history.
With men’s 50km silver medallist Jared Tallent working the drinks station, the Aussie trio of Lamble, Tanya Holliday and Rachel Tallent gave it all they had in hot and windy conditions.
Lamble crossed the line in ninth in a time of one hour, 30 minutes and 28 seconds.
Holliday was 26th in 1:34.22 and Tallent 40th in 1:37.08.
Lamble’s effort, inparticular, was outstanding.The 24-year-old from Melbourne was in the lead pack for the first 10kms and valiantly tried to stay in touch as a group of seven broke away.
Lamble battled on strongly to cross the line ninth and record the third best performance by an Australian in the event’s short history, after Jane Saville’s bronze-medal winning effort at the 2004 Athens Games and Kerry Junna-Saxby’s seventh placing at the Sydney 2000 Games.
“I was really happy with today,” Lamble said.
“We were hoping for a top-10 performance so ninth, I’m pretty chuffed with ninth.
“Today was still definitely a learning experience.
“I think I’ve still got a few more years of improvement in me as well.”
An emotional Tallent was proud of her effort, after she feared she would miss the race due to a stress fracture in her femur that had limited her training.
“We always knew it was going to be hard to get to the start line but it hurt a lot more than I thought,” Tallent said.
“When I first did it they weren’t too sure (if I would race), but they always said there was going to be pain in the race.
“It didn’t feel too bad (in the lead-up) but I did my first walk on the road on Monday and I just knew it was going to be really hard.”
In a thrilling finish, China’s Liu Hong (1:28.35) won gold by just two seconds from Mexico’s Maria Gonzalez (1:28.37).
China’s Lu Xiuzhi won bronze in 1:28.42.
And as for having Jared Tallent manning the drinks station just hours after his own 50km race?
“That was awesome,” Lamble said, noting his performance was a great motivator for the women’ team.
“That really inspired me because I am so proud of him and I’m so proud of Chris Erickson as well, he’s my training partner, and also a few of the other international men we train with as well.
“To watch that this morning, it was nerve-wracking, but I was absolutely so proud of them all and it really inspired me today.
“To have Jared on the drinks table, it’s a bit of an honour really to have the silver medallist giving out your drinks and cheering you on every lap.
“It was an amazing day.”