Jared Tallent in the 50km race walk at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup (© Getty Images)
Athletics Australia has selected a team of 18 athletes for the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Rome 2016 on 7-8 May.
The team is headlined by three-time Olympic medallist Jared Tallent in the 50km walk, while national champions Dane Bird-Smith and Rachel Tallent will contest the 20km events.
“The Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the IAAF World U20 Championships are on the horizon and this opportunity to compete against the world’s best is a crucial one for Australia’s best race walkers. I congratulate the 12 athletes selected to date,” said Dion Russell, Athletics Australia chairman of selectors.
“Australia is enjoying a period of great depth in race walking and for this reason the team is very strong. I am confident of a similar level of success to that we have enjoyed in the past and know that the athletes selected will represent the Australian Flame with great pride and determination.”
Australia has earned 10 medals in the history of the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships (formerly the IAAF World Race Walking Cup). Three of those medals came two years ago in Taicang, with Tallent finishing third in the men’s 50km race walk and the junior men and women both taking team bronze medals.
Athletics Australia for the IAAF
Australian team for Rome
20km race walk: Dane Bird-Smith, Nathan Brill, Rhydian Cowley, Michael Hosking, Brendon Reading
50km race walk: Ian Rayson, Jared Tallent
U20 10km race walk: Adam Garganis, Tyler Jones, Kyle Swan
20km race walk: Tanya Holliday, Regan Lamble, Beki Smith, Stephanie Stigwood, Rachel Tallent
U20 10km race walk: Tayla-Paige Billington, Zoe Hunt, Clara Smith