12 DEC 2010 General News Melbourne, Australia

Adams claims national 50km title in Melbourne

Luke Adams in Hobart (Getty Images)Luke Adams in Hobart (Getty Images) © Copyright
Commonwealth Games silver medallist Luke Adams claimed his maiden Australian national 50km Race Walking title in Fawkner Park, Melbourne on Sunday (12).

Thirty-four-year-old Adams clocked 3:47.34 to claim the national crown, his first over the 50km distance and a result well inside the World Championships qualifying standard of 3:58.00.

“It was a good day, the time was never going to be an issue for me, I’m well inside that A-qualifying time," he said.

"I was sort of hoping to go a little bit quicker but off the training I’ve done, it’s a good time.

“I’m glad it’s out of the way now, it really took a lot of mental strength even to do the training to try to turn around and do this race but it’s done now and I can have a little bit of a rest before the end of the year.

“Jared (Tallent) went off for free beer at the start and I didn’t really see him after that, I was sort of walking on my own from pretty much the gun so it was nice to have the other races on to have people around me and something to break up the distance but then everyone was off the track again and it was back to a solo effort for the last 16km so it was a little bit tedious.”

Adams will now look to the national 20km road walking championships in Hobart in February as he aims to gain selection to both the 20km and 50km events at next year’s IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea.

“It will take several weeks before I can push the button too hard but then I’ll turn around and get ready for the 20km in Hobart,” he said.

"2011 is another year, I’ve done the double the last couple of years at major championships so I’ll certainly prepare for both races and I know what it takes to do well in both races so I’ll prepare as best I can and hopefully come up with the goods in Daegu.”

A four-time World Championships representative and two-time Olympian, Adams was the highest placed of the Australians in action in the 50km Race Walk at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, crossing the line in sixth position in a time of 3:43.39.

In October he collected a silver medal in the shorter 20km event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.

Fellow Australian Institute of Sport representative and Australian Flame teammate Jared Tallent did not finish this morning's race, withdrawing just before the 40km-mark.

New South Welshman Ian Rayson claimed second place, just scraping in under the four hour-barrier to post a time of 3:59.43.

In other action in Fawkner Park this morning, 2009 World Championships representative Adam Rutter took out the men’s 20km walk in a time of 1:24.56. He was followed across the line by Commonwealth Games athlete Chris Erickson in 1:27.30 and Brendon Reading in 1:27.33.

In the women’s 20km event, New Delhi silver medallist Claire Tallent took the honours in a time of 1:35.38, one minute clear of young gun Regan Lamble on her 20km debut.

Lamble, who placed eighth at the IAAF world junior titles in Moncton (CAN) in July, clocked an impressive time of 1:36.40 in her maiden senior event to show she has a big future in the sport.

Victorian Kelly Ruddick rounded out the minor places in third (1:40.11), with Commonwealth Games athlete Cheryl Webb fourth in 1:40.15.

In the junior 10km races, Queenslander Dane Bird-Smith took line honours for the men with a time of 42:45 and local athlete Beth Alexander was first across the line in the women’s division in a time of 50:46.

Athletics Australia for the IAAF