It will be a family affair at the IAAF World Championships, with up and comer Rachel Tallent (Vic) set to join her three-time Olympic medal winning brother Jared Tallent (Vic) on course for the race walk.
Ensuring her Australian Flame debut, the 22-year-old has been selected in the women’s 20km event alongside national champion Tanya Holliday (SA) and London 2012 Olympian Beki Smith (NSW).
Her very successful older sibling, as well as Moscow 2013 charge Chris Erickson (Vic), will start in both the men’s 20km and 50km walk, while rising star Dane Bird-Smith (Qld) will compete in the men’s 20km walk boasting a new personal best of 1:20:05 from La Coruna (ESP) this month.
“I don’t think anyone would understand how excited I am. Jared is now my coach with his wife Claire and it is going to be amazing to be there together. They prepare my program for me to get out and get done where I live in Canberra and they’ve been so supportive of what I have been doing to improve as a walker,” Rachel Tallent said.
“I’ve got the World University Games next month first and I want to use that as a launching pad for Beijing. The race is there to be a good test of my fitness, but if I can come away with a personal best before the world titles that would be amazing, a real confidence boost.”
Rachel Tallent has always been inspired by Jared Tallent, impressed by how unassuming he is despite almost unrivalled success on the world stage.
“He’s just a really humble person and because we have come from the same environment it is cool to know that if you work hard it can be done. It has been so amazing for my family to sit back and see him do so well. And for me it is amazing to know that the opportunity to be the best you can is there if you work for it,” Rachel Tallent added.
The Tallent siblings were born in Ballarat (Vic), spending their childhood in the area until Jared Tallent relocated to the Australian Institute of Sport to be coached by Brent Vallance.
Jared Tallent is one of the most successful Australian athletes in history, winning three Olympic medals, as well as a further seven (two gold, five bronze) across the Commonwealth Games, IAAF World Championships and the IAAF World Race Walking Cup. He now lives in Adelaide (SA) with his wife Claire Tallent, a former Olympic race walker, who acts as his coach.
Rachel Tallent now lives in Canberra (ACT). She has Australian team experience at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup and this year will start at both the Summer Universiade in Gwangju (KOR) and the IAAF World Championships in Beijing (CHN).
In the women’s marathon, Julia Degan (NSW) has been selected to replace the withdrawing Melanie Panayiotou (Qld). Degan is coached by Mike Lawson.
IAAF World Championships
22-30 August 2015
800m: Jeff Riseley (Vic), Alex Rowe (Vic)
10,000m: Ben St Lawrence (NSW)
110m hurdles: Nicholas Hough (NSW)
High jump: Joel Baden (Vic), Brandon Starc (NSW)
Discus throw: Julian Wruck (Qld)
Javelin: Hamish Peacock (Tas)
20km walk: Chris Erickson (Vic), Dane Bird-Smith (Qld), Jared Tallent (Vic)
50km walk: Chris Erickson (Vic), Jared Tallent (Vic)
100m: Melissa Breen (ACT)
200m: Ella Nelson (NSW)
5000m: Eloise Wellings (NSW)
100m hurdles: Michelle Jenneke (NSW)
400m hurdles: Lauren Wells (ACT)
3000m steeplechase: Madeline Heiner (NSW), Victoria Mitchell (NSW)
High jump: Eleanor Patterson (Vic)
Pole vault: Alana Boyd (Qld), Nina Kennedy (WA)
Long jump: Brooke Stratton (Vic)
Discus throw: Dani Samuels (NSW)
Javelin: Kim Mickle (WA), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic), Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT)
Marathon: Julia Degan (NSW), Sinead Diver (Vic), Sarah Klein (Vic)
20km walk: Tanya Holliday (SA), Beki Smith (NSW), Rachel Tallent (Vic)
– Tanya Holliday (SA) has been selected pending fitness, with this to be assessed by the Head Coach prior to competition.
– Melanie Panayiotou (Qld) has withdrawn from the marathon, replaced by Degan.
– All other events will be considered at the Final Selectors Meeting on 10 August 2015. This follows the close of the IAAF Qualification Period, providing athletes with the greatest possible period of time to stake their claim for Australian Flame selection.