Zatopek and race walk updates
10 December 2012
ATHLETICS: Lara Tamsett (NSW) and Ben St Lawrence (NSW) were crowned Australian women’s and men’s 10,000m champions at the ZATOPEK:10 at Lakeside Stadium.
Second overall behind international starter Neely Spence (USA, first, 32:16.51), Tamsett (33:03.84) has excitingly ensured her selection to the Australian Flame for the 2013 IAAF World Championships after setting a new personal best and IAAF ‘B’ qualifier of 32:01.60 at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto (USA) in April.
Tamsett’s win improves on the silver medal she won in the Australian 10,000m championship two years ago, and sees her atop the podium in the event for the first time since 2008.
Linda Spencer (WA, second, third overall, 33:08.30) and Olympic marathoner Jess Trengove (SA, third, fourth overall, 33:36.77) joined Tamsett, who has represented Australia on three occasions in open age events the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, on the Australian championship dais.
St Lawrence, who is a Commonwealth Games finalist across 10,000m, becomes a three-time consecutive national champion in a time of 28:35.92, finishing second overall behind the world leader Emmanuel Bett (KEN, first, 27:59.23).
As the winner of the Selection Trial, he now needs to run an IAAF ‘B’ Standard prior to 29 July 2013 to ensure his selection for the IAAF World Championships.
Sticking on the shoulder of Bett for the opening 1500m, St Lawrence was left to battle it out for the Australian crown with Ben Moreau (GBR), Brett Robinson (Vic) and Mitchel Brown (Vic) after the Kenyan broke away to lead convincingly for the remainder of the race. He showed his class in the closing stages, however, opening a gap on his challengers to win the Australian championship gold.
Luke Adams (NSW) will join Jared Tallent (Vic) on the start line for the men’s 50km walk at the 2013 IAAF World Championships after winning the Australian championship in an ‘A’ Qualifying time of 3:57:24.
Excitingly for the Australian Flame team, Ian Rayson (ACT) has staked his claim for the third and final spot after crossing the line second in 4:00:39, also an ‘A’ Qualifying time.
Adams looked strong from the outset.
Sitting alongside Rayson and fellow 2010 Commonwealth Games representative Chris Erickson (Vic) for the opening five kilometres, the 36-year-old Adams broke away from his challengers to a comfortable lead before moving through the 10-kilometre mark at 46:19.
Extending his lead to beyond 500 metres at the halfway point, Adams continued to surge before moving through 40 kilometres in 3:04.57 near on one kilometre ahead.
Erickson was forced to withdraw at 36 kilometres, leaving Rayson as a clear second, with Adams closing out his formidable race in a time of 3:57:24 and Rayson in 4:00:39.
Adam’s victory is his second national 50km walk title after winning in 2010. He has also won the Australian 20km walk championship on two occasions, and the Australian 30km walk championship once. A three-time silver medallist across 20km at the Commonwealth Games, Adams has donned the green and gold at two Olympic Games and five world championships, with 5th in the 50km walk in Daegu (KOR) last year his best result.
In other events at the Australian 50km Race Walking Championships this morning, Brendon Reading (ACT) won the men’s 20km event in a time of 1:26:24. This is his first qualifier for the Summer Universiade in Kazan (RUS) next year. Tanya Holliday (SA) won the women’s race in 1:36:31.
The boy’s 10km event was taken out by 2011 IAAF World Youth Championshipsrepresentative Jesse Osborne (Qld) in a personal best time of 43:18, while Nathan Brill (Vic) etched a second qualifier for the 2013 World Youth Championships in Donetsk (RUS) next to his name bycrossing second in 43:44.