News27 Feb 2013

Watt and Tallent set for Sydney


Jared Tallent in action in Sydney (© Getty Images)

UPDATED on March 1, following the news of Sally Pearson's injury.

Olympic medallists Mitchell Watt and Jared Tallent will delight audiences at the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour when they compete at the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday March 9.

The Sydney Track Classic is part of the Australian Athletics Tour which concludes on April 6 with the Qantas Melbourne World Challenge, the first meeting in the 2013 IAAF World Challenge series.

World and Olympic champion Sally Pearson had also been scheduled to compete, but the sprint hurdler recently revealed that she has sustained a grade one hamstring tear so will miss the Sydney meeting for the first time in six years.

Watt has fond memories of this meeting, having won in Sydney in 2010 and 2011, the latter with a meeting record of 8.38m.

Tallent has contested the 5000m race walk in Sydney for the past four years, and will want to go one better than last year when he suffered a surprise defeat to Canada’s Inaki Gomez.

“The Qantas Australian Athletics Tour will launch in Sydney this year and we are thrilled that fans in New South Wales have a chance to see our Olympic medallists in action,” said Dallas O’Brien, Athletics Australia chief executive officer.

“Our own athletes will be joined by a strong group of international stars to ensure a fantastic night.”

The medal-winning trio will be joined on the track and in the field by 23 of their Australian team-mates from the 2012 London Olympic Games, along with New Zealand’s Valerie Adams, American sprinter Calesio Newman, South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen and British pole vaulter Steve Lewis.

Organisers for the IAAF