RACHEL Tallent has powered her way to a 20-kilometre race walking A-qualifier in China for the IAAF World Championships.
Tallent, in her first open year, clocked a time of one hour, 34 minutes, 55 seconds — well clear of the 1:36.00 A-qualifying standard.
She was narrowly behind Australian Olympian Regan Lamble (1:34.03) in the IAAF World Race Walking Challenge in Taicing.
Tallent sliced a further two minutes off her personal best time, a week after blitzing five minutes of her best to place third in the Australian open womens 20km walk championship in Hobart.
Good conditions in Tasmania had helped the 20-year-old clock a time of 1.36.50 for a B-qualifier.
“I didn’t realise I could walk that fast (at nationals) and in China I thought I could do better,” Tallent said.
“It was raining and wet in China but there were a lot more people to push you along.”
The Ballarat athlete was back in her Australian Institute of Sport base this week, concentrating on her fitness and university studies as she waits for the Australian world championship team to be announced.
Should Tallent miss the cut for Moscow in August, she is likely to contest the World University Games that are also in Russia.
Tallent said her first open-age A-qualifier in China still felt surreal. The achievement is less than 12 months after Tallent contested the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
“I raced my first 20k in December and in the last two weeks I’ve done two of them,” Tallent said.
“It’s tough, especially the last little bit of the race...I do like the 20K, I don’t know why, I think it’s that you get more time to settle in.”
Her brother, Olympic medallist Jared Tallent, walked 1:21:04 to finish third in the men’s 20km walk in China.