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Tallent walks away with bronze in Moscow

15 August 2013

ATHLETICS: Three-time Olympic medallist Jared Tallent (Vic) has delivered a performance even better than his surname suggests at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, with the 28-year-old winning bronze in the men’s 50km walk for an outstanding second consecutive time. 

As local favourites Ivan Noskov (RUS, 7th, 3:41:36, PB) and Mikhail Ryzhov (RUS, silver, 3:38:58, PB) headed out strongly early, Tallent sat comfortably in the chase pack across the opening stages before making his move to join them at the front and head through 10-kilometres in 44:26. 

Holding together until shortly prior to the 20-kilometre mark, Tallent was surrounded by a group of walkers as he slowed through the middle to head through half-way in 7th position in a time of 1:50:48. 

Tallent at 30-kilometres (2:12:44) made his move once more, quickening his pace to pass 6th and 5th as he approached the 40-kilometre mark and into the bronze medal position with 4 laps of the 2-kilometre loop to go. 

Continuing his chase of Rhyzov and leader Robert Heffernan (IRL, gold, 3:37:56, WL) across the closing stages, Tallent was gallant to the line, recording a 45-kilometre split time of 3:18:02 and eventually entering the Luzhniki Stadium for just over one lap on the blue track and a finish time of 3:40:03. 

“That was really satisfying. I felt absolutely terrible out there early, and at the 15-kilometre mark when I dropped off the Russians I didn’t think I would finish. I was really hurting, surprisingly sluggish. As the race went on I tried to get motivated, and I started to feel a bit better as the race went on. I was proud that I could pull together a strong last ten kilometres to comeinto the bronze medal position,” Tallent said. 

“I have trained all year for this, we train all year for one event and I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially my wife Claire. It’s great to win a medal and have reward for all the hard work.” 

Tallent, who is coached by his wife Claire Tallent, has now competed at five IAAF World Championships for two medals (both bronze). In a simply outstanding international career, he is also a three-time Olympic medallist (2008, 2012), two-time Commonwealth Games medallist (2006, 2010) and a two-time IAAF World Race Walking Cup bronze medallist (2010, 2012). 

“This is another great result but I can definitely taste that gold medal. It’s a new situation working with Claire now, she has pretty much retired to help me chase my dream, so I will keep pushing through to Beijing and Rio and hopefully it will come. I have five medals from worlds or the Olympics and want the last one to complete the set so to speak,” Tallent added. 

Chris Erickson (Vic) and Ian Rayson (NSW) joined Tallent on course, with Erickson the next best-placed Australian Flame and Rayson disqualified at the 12-kilometre mark. 

Improving his position across the distance, Erickson for much of the race sat in a strung out second chase pack before stepping up his pace in the last 4 laps to enter the stadium in 16th position and cross in a new personal best time of 3:49:41. 

“That was great. I fulfilled my ambition of sitting on the shoulder of Jesus Garcia who has done this event at a world event a crazy amount of times and was able to go with him past some of the other guys. Plus I’ve finished in the top-16 and have a new personal best which is great,” Erickson said. 

“The 50km event is my event. I want to keep improving from here and hopefully besomeone that challenges for a top-eight in Rio. The next three years is about getting better, and I think I have potential for a strong performance at the IAAF World Walk Cup next year and keep moving up the ranks from there.” 

In-stadium, Jackie Areson (Qld) has joined Zoe Buckman (Vic) on the list of female track finalists for the Australian Flame after she advanced on time to the next round of the women’s 5000m. 

On debut with the Australian Flame here in Moscow, Areson started in the second of two heats and after realizing just how slow the race before her was the University of Tennessee alumni made a call to focus on the clock rather than her position. 

Areson sat comfortably with the lead pack for most of the race, and when eventual winner Meseret Dafar (ETH, first, 15:22.94) stepped up the pace in the closingstages she sat back and finished in 15:40.21, enough to advance and more than 25 seconds outside her personal best. 

“Rounds are always so nerve wracking, but once I saw how slow the first heat was I knew that it was going to be pretty chill in my race. I didn’t make a play for pushing to win, I just watched the clock and did enough to go through comfortably,” Areson said. 

“Pulling on my uniform was so exciting. I have never been one to be proud to wear a uniform but today I am. Everyone talks about swapping at the end for a coolJamaica singlet but I honestly want to keep mine. It’s great to finally have it, I have always wanted it.” 

Areson will compete in the women’s 5000m final on Saturday night local time, and in doing so she becomes the first Australian woman to make the final since Benita Willis in 2001. 

Rounding out the Australians in action was Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) in the qualifying round of the men’s long jump. Unable to record a legal jump, he fouled on three occasions and will miss the final. 

For comprehensive results, please click here to visit iaaf.org.

Athletics Australia

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