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Deakes adds longer event to world championship program

31 May 2007

Australia's world record holder Nathan Deakes has added the 50km walk to his program for the world track and field championships in Japan later this year.

Deakes, who had already been selected to race the 20km event, has now been picked to contest the 50km walk as well.

He is a strong prospect to medal and has high expectations after the disappointment of being disqualified over 50km in Edmonton in 2001 and also in Athens in 2004 when he was in a breakaway group with the eventual winner.

The Olympic bronze medallist over 20km and four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist is yet to win a world championships medal, finishing fourth over 20km in 2001 and missing the 2003 and 2005 editions with injury.

After producing a surprise world championships qualifier earlier in the month - with the fastest time by an Australian team (43.62 seconds) since 2000 - the women's 4x100m relay squad has also gained selection.

Three-time Australian sprint champion Sally McLellan will be joined by fellow Commonwealth Games relay bronze medallists Crystal Attenborough and Melanie Kleeberg, as well as Preya Carey long and hurdles specialist Fiona Cullen.

The week-long championships will be held in Osaka from August 25.

AAP

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