CANBERRA will lose one of Australia’s most successful Olympians with Ballarat’s Jared Tallent set to leave the Australian Institute of Sport and move to Adelaide to be closer to family.
The multiple Olympic medal-winning race walker said more departures could follow as a cloud hangs over the future of his sport.
Following a massive review into the nation’s unsuccessful London Olympic Games, Athletics Australia head coach Eric Hollingsworth will meet with the other AIS-based race walkers today before deciding whether the program will continue in the ACT or be disbanded.
An AIS-based athletics program has long been at the heart of Australia’s top track-and-field athletes.
Along with Tallent, the likes of Patrick Johnson, Jane Flemming, Jana Pittman and Robert de Castella all enjoyed success while based in Canberra.
But Australia’s poor showing in London led to the development of the Winning Edge program.
As part of Winning Edge, all sports will run their own high-performance programs, instead of the AIS.
Funding will be determined by success and distributed by the AIS.
Athletics Australia will move to a tiered scholarship system that rewards higher-ranked athletes with more money.
“We’ve always wanted to move home to be closer to family and now that all this is happening and we’re sort of on our own anyway, it just made the decision easier,’’ Tallent told The Canberra Times.