Bronze for Tallent
5 May 2014
ATHLETICS: The outstanding international career of Jared Tallent (Vic) has continued in Taicang (CHN), with the three-time Olympic medallist winning a strong bronze in the men’s 50km walk at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup.
His third consecutive medal over the distance at the world championship of race walking, the performance ensures that Tallent has now won seven medals back-to-back at every major championship since he crossed for gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi (IND).
“It was a quick race, and my race went to plan at the start. I went out with the Russians and made a move at about 15 kilometres to push the pace up but they were too strong in the closing stages,” Tallent said.
“Honestly I am a little disappointed to not win the gold, I want it very much, but to know that I could hold on to the bronze position pretty comfortably in those closing stages is a big positive to take away from today.
“It can be really tough when you are the only man not in red, white and blue in the lead pack and I just have to keep doing my best and pushing them as hard as I can. I’m one man out in a group that train together and then compete together and to be in the mix when they walk as a group like that is a strong performance.”
Tallent made his intentions to push the pace clear when he went to the front at the sound of the gun alongside IAAF World Championships silver medallist Mikhail Rhyzov (RUS, gold, 3:39:05, WL).
Ivan Noskov (RUS, silver, 3:39:38, PB) joined the duo shortly after and together they shared the lead through the first ten kilometres before being joined at the front by Yury Andronov (RUS, 4th, 3:43:52).
Tallent then surged ahead to take an almost 50-metre lead from the Russian contingent and come through the 16-kilometre mark as a clear leader in 1:10:53. He held that position until the 20-kilometre split, when Rhyzov and Noskov joining the 2013 Athletics Australia Athlete of the Year at the front of the field.
Heading through the half way mark in 1:50:33, the trio battled it out until shortly prior to the 30-kilometre split when the Russian two pushed ahead to build a lead they would never relinquish.
Comfortably in the bronze medal position for the remainder of the race, Tallent watched as the Rhyzov made his move to outright first in the closing lap, with Noskov settling for silver. Tallent crossed next in a time of 3:42:48, with the fourth placed Andronov more than a minute behind him.
Not to be outdone, Chris Erickson (Vic), who placed 16th in the event at last year’s IAAF World Championships, has delivered his strongest international result outside of the Commonwealth Games over 50km by crossing 11th in a time of 3:49:33.
Continuing his build towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero (BRA), the performance is a personal best and shows continued improvement from the now six-time Australian representative at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup.
“I’m continuing to chip away at my time and that’s great. I have walked PB’s in both the 20km and 50km event this year and it’s good to know that I am continuing to improve each time I race at a major,” Erickson said.
“I wanted to hold on to the top-ten position that I had coming into the last couple of laps, but unfortunately I got swamped by a couple of Ukrainians and that’s probably the only downside of today’s performance. A top-ten finish would have been icing on the cake.
“Rio has always been the main aim, and I want to finish top-eight there. I think I am tracking towards that still, and even today I’ve learned a lesson that I can use to improve. Both Beijing next year, and Rio the year after, will probably be warm races and that’s where I perform best I think. I’m heading in the right direction, and I have a new PB so I’m happy.”
A second bronze
Australia has won a second bronze medal at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup, with the junior boys combining behind best finisher Nathan Brill (Vic) to ensure their place on the podium.
Brill crossed 7th in a personal best time of 41:07 to be the first of the Australians, with Jesse Osborne (Qld) the next green and gold racer to cross in 12th (42:13). Tyler Jones (NSW) was disqualified, but will still be included in the medal winning result as China won gold, and Spain silver.
The result is Australia’s first ever team medal in the junior events, and is our third team medal overall. It brings the Australian medal tally at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup to 11.
“I’m so happy with that. It’s a minute plus personal best, and I felt great throughout the race. We got a team medal too which is awesome, it’s been a great day,” Brill said.
Australia bronzed again
The Australian team will return home from the IAAF World Race Walking Cup with more medals than ever, after the junior women combined to add yet another bronze to our already impressive tally of success in Taicang (CHN).
Joined on the podium by the host country China (gold) and Spain (silver), the result followed an impressive personal best walk by Clara Smith (Qld, 46:33) for 8th, with the 12th and 25th place of Jemima Montag (Vic, 47:34) and Elizabeth Hosking (ACT, 49:21, PB) cementing the result.
The third medal from two days of competition means that Australia has won it biggest ever haul at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup, and with six athletes improving their personal best in the process it has been a very successful championships.
“I’m so happy, it’s amazing,” Smith said.