London build up continues
9 December 2011
The build up to the 2012 London Olympic Games steps up this weekend as Athletics Australia prepares to host its first three nomination trials in Melbourne (VIC).
Kicking off tomorrow night with the men’s and women’s 10,000m at the ZATOPEK:10 hosted by Athletics Victoria, the action will continue on Sunday at Fawkner Park as the nation’s best male walkers get set to battle it out in the 50km walk.
The ZATOPEK:10 will this year be held in conjunction with the opening of Lakeside Stadium, the new home of athletics in Victoria, with the men’s field including 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Micah Kogo (KEN), his compatriot Emmanuel Bett and a bounty of Australian stars including Craig Mottram (VIC), Ben St Lawrence (NSW) and DavidMcNeill (VIC).
The first Australian to cross the line in a time below the Athletics Australia nomination standard of 27 minutes and 45 seconds will have earned the right to automatic nomination to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection to the 2012 Olympic Games team.
The women’s event, meanwhile, is headlined by 2010 world cross country champion Emily Chebet (KEN). The Australian flag will be flown by Australian cross country champion Emily Brichacek (ACT) and 2011 City2Surf winner Jess Trengove (SA), with both chasing the Athletics Australia nomination standard of 31 minutes and 45 seconds.
The Australian 50km Race Walking Championships will this year return to FawknerPark for the fourth consecutive time.
Competing athletes are set to battle it out for the third and final spot in the event on the Olympic team after Jared Tallent (VIC) and Luke Adams (NSW) earned early nomination for selection thanks to top-eight performances at the IAAFworld championships in Daegu (KOR) earlier this year.
Former world record holder Nathan Deakes (VIC) and fellow Australian Flame Chris Erickson (VIC) are the two most likely to challenge for the nomination. Based at the Australian Institute of Sport, the Victorian duo are chasing victory in a time below the Athletics Australia qualifying standard of 3 hours and 59 minutes.
A men’s and women’s 20km event will be held in conjunction with the trial. Athletes to watch include AIS scholarship holder Adam Rutter (NSW), Athletics Australia Junior Athlete of the Year Dane Bird-Smith (QLD) and Australian Flame Regan Lamble (VIC) and Claire Tallent (SA).