Yesterday, Regan Lamble and Dane Bird-Smith, secured the Oceania walks titles, held alongside the first leg of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Adelaide, South Australia.
The race took place in cool conditions on a course on the banks of the Torrens River on the edge of Adelaide’s central business district. Temperatures were in the teens, a pleasant change from the sweltering conditions which are common during Adelaide’s summer months.
Bird-Smith, competing in his first 20km walk since winning a Bronze Medal at the Rio Olympics, shared the early lead with Canada’s Evan Dunfee, before the Australian took over on his own. His win, along with his Rio performance, makes him an automatic selection for the Australian World championships team to compete in London later this year.
Bird-Smith’s time, an equal personal best, shows good signs for the World Championships later in the year. “I came to Adelaide to get a job done, to lock London down. I followed my race plan perfectly and to edge out an international field like that is great, The equal personal best is because of the hard work I’ve been doing all summer. I’m trying to keep pressing forward and improving and as someone who is still quite young I am starting to reap the benefit of the kilometres I’ve put in.”
“I’ve got two things on my radar this year, the national 10,000m walk record of my Dad and a better result than bronze in London. I like to think that my Dad is shaking in his boots,” Bird-Smith joked.
Finishing in second place, Quentin Rew, of New Zealand, was able to break his New Zealand record, by 42 seconds to record a time of 1.21.12.
Lamble, 25, crossed the line in a time of 1 hour 29 minutes 58 seconds, 57 seconds clear of second place in the race, and her second fastest time ever. With the win, she has also secured a spot on the Australian team for the World Championships to be held in London. The walks will take place on the Mall in London, on the 13th of August.
Not to be out done by her compatriot in the men’s event, Alana Barber, also broke her own NZ record, in walking to third place, with a time of 1.32.23
In the Junior races, Declan Tingay, had a commanding win, taking the race in 42 minutes and 35 seconds to win by a minute and half. Whilst in the Women’s junior race, Clara Smith, was able to secure a victory in 47 minutes and 48 seconds.
Oceania Athletics would like to thank Athletics Australia, and Athletics South Australia, the volunteers and officials for the running of the event.
Oceania Championships Results:
- Dane Bird-Smith (AUS)- 1.19.37
- Quentin Rew (NZL) – 1.21.12
- Rhydian Cowley (AUS) – 1.22.09
- Regan Lamble (AUS) – 1.29.58
- Beki Smith (AUS) – 1.31.23
- Alana Barber (NZL) – 1.32.23
- Declan Tingay (AUS) – 42.35
- Kyle Swan (AUS) – 43.56
- Luke McCutcheon (AUS) – 44.36
- Clara Smith (AUS) – 47.48
- Philippa Huse (AUS) – 49.46
- Chelsea Goodhew (AUS) – 54.06