JARED Tallent says he feels he is a real chance of winning the 50km walk at the London Olympics after coming seventh in the 20km event.
The 27-year-old posted a season’s best time at The Mall on Saturday, crossing the line in one hour, 20 minutes, tow seconds.
He was 1:06 behind 19-year-old Chen Ding, who became the first Chinese winner of the event.
The Canberra-based Tallent from ballarat said he was feeling comfortable sitting in leading pack until the 14km mark, when he could not match the lift in pace and fell out of medal contention.
Despite being unable to match his bronze medal performance from four years earlier, Tallent said the 20km race had left him feeling positive about his prospects for the longer event, which provided his silver medal in Beijing.
“It holds me in good stead for next week,” he said.
“It’s good to have that sort of hit out today and I think I will be a lot stronger next week and hopefully be in the medals there.
“I will come good out of this and I think I will be in with a real good shot next week.”
The 50km walk will be contested on the same course on Saturday.
Eleven seconds behind teenage winner Chen was silver medallist Erick Barrondo from Guatemala, (1:18:57).
Chen’s compatriot Wang Zhen (1:19:25) took bronze.
Australia’s Chris Erickson was 38th in 1:24:19, while Adam Rutter did not finish.
Russian Valeriy Borchin, an Olympic and two-time world champion, was in the hunt for the bronze medal when he collapsed on the final lap and was treated by medical staff at the venue.
He did not finish the race.