The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

TOP TAL­LENT

Walker makes big splash with podium hat-trick

- SCOTT GULLAN

JARED Tal­lent had a smile on his face as he stood proudly on a “clean podium” af­ter win­ning his third con­sec­u­tive ma­jor cham­pi­onships sil­ver medal.

For the first time the Aus­tralian walker be­lieves he was beaten by a bet­ter man on the day, not a drug cheat.

Tal­lent, who has led the back­lash against Rus­sia’s sys­tem­atic dop­ing reg­i­men un­der head coach Vik­tor Che­gin, fin­ished sec­ond be­hind Slo­vakia’s Matej Toth in the 50km event.

“It’s not the gold I wanted, but to be beaten by Matej, I know he’s a clean ath­lete so it’s not a bad re­sult,” he said. “So it’s the first time in a long time in the 50K we’ve had a clean podium.

“It has been a re­ally good week for the sport, ac­tu­ally.

‘‘I’d hope to think that ev­ery ath­lete who has won a medal has worked hard for it and it’s a good pos­i­tive sign in 2015 that things are start­ing to change.’’

Tal­lent won bronze two years ago at the Moscow world cham­pi­onships and was un­com­fort­able as he stood along­side Rus­sian Mikhail Ryzhov, who had won the sil­ver medal.

“He trained un­der Che­gin so you had no doubt and he has just tested pos­i­tive to EPO,” he said.

Tal­lent has fin­ished sec­ond at the past two Olympic Games and hopes to be named gold medal­list from Lon­don 2012 given Rus­sian Sergey Kirdyap­kin has since been ex­posed as a drug cheat.

Tal­lent made his ca­reer break­through at Bei­jing 2008, tak­ing the Olympic sil­ver medal be­hind Ital­ian Alex Sch­wazer, who was later caught dop­ing.

Tal­lent has al­ready said he will not be com­pet­ing at next year’s world race walk­ing cham­pi­onships, which is the key lead-up event to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, be­cause it is be­ing held in Rus­sia.

“(Rus­sia) is a dis­grace,” he said. ‘‘Why would any clean ath­lete want to go to Rus­sia and com­pete in a World Cup?”

Mean­while, Vic­to­rian teenager Eleanor Pat­ter­son is the eighth best high-jumper on the planet.

The 19-year-old con­tin­ued her re­mark­able rise last night, again show­ing she loves the big stage by mix­ing it with the world’s best.

She went ag­o­nis­ingly close to be­ing in the medals mix, with a slight brush on her third at­tempt at 1.95m re­sult­ing in her de­part­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

Pat­ter­son, whose per­sonal best is 1.96m, was easily the youngest jumper in the field and is the youngest Aus­tralian to make a fi­nal at the world cham­pi­onships.

 ??  ?? LONG MARCH: Jared Tal­lent cools down as he pow­ered to sil­ver in the 50km walk and (be­low) Eleanor Pat­ter­son re­acts af­ter her fi­nal high-jump at­tempt. Pic­tures: AP
LONG MARCH: Jared Tal­lent cools down as he pow­ered to sil­ver in the 50km walk and (be­low) Eleanor Pat­ter­son re­acts af­ter her fi­nal high-jump at­tempt. Pic­tures: AP
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