Jared Tallent in the 50km race walk at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Melbourne, Australia

Australia selects first five athletes for Rio

The Australian Olympic Committee has made their first selections for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Athletics Australia confirmed on Friday (8).

After winning national titles last month, Eloise Wellings and David McNeill will compete in the 10,000m in Rio.

Race walkers Jared Tallent, Chris Erickson and Brendon Reading have been selected for the men’s 50km race walk, having fulfilled the selection criteria. Tallent took silver in the event at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, while Erickson gained automatic nomination after winning the Australian 50km Race Walking Championships in Melbourne last month.

“The early nomination and subsequent selection by the AOC of these five athletes is an exciting and critical step in ensuring each athlete can now focus on their preparations for Rio,” said Athletics Australia head coach Craig Hilliard.

“The respective 10,000m and 50km selections capped stellar seasons for both Wellings and Tallent. Importantly two Olympic debutantes in McNeill and Reading produced excellent trial performances, vindicating their nominations, while Erickson and Tallent have each secured their third Olympic team selection. All athletes and their coaches are to be congratulated.”

The next nominations by Athletics Australia for selection to the Olympic team will take place in tranches. Nominations will follow the 20km race walk trials in February, followed by the track and field selection trials in April. Marathon nominations will take place in May, with final track and field athlete nominations in July completing the nomination and selection process.

Athletics Australia for the IAAF