GALLERY: Kelly Ruddick powers to Vic Country 5000m racewalking title in Ballarat

BALLARAT Harriers racewalker Kelly Ruddick hopes age is no barrier in her pursuit of the 2016 Olympic Games.

The 40-year-old mother, who powered to victory in the open women’s 5000m walk at day one of the Victorian Country Track and Field Championships at Llanberris yesterday, said a trip to Rio de Janeiro was on her radar.

“I’ve got a new coach (Brent Vallance) now and I’m training a lot more seriously than I ever have so I know if I keep it up I’ll be getting faster each time and aiming more towards the 20km rather than these track meets,” Ruddick said.

“Rio is in the mix and I’m certainly aiming for that.

“I’ve actually done an Olympic A qualifier earlier this year, but sadly I’m ranked number one in the Commonwealth and this is the first time ever it’s not in the Commonwealth Games, so for me it’s a bit of a bummer.”

Ruddick will compete in the Australian 20km Racewalking Championships on February 2 before heading to race in Mexico later that month.

While there is big things on the horizon, Ruddick was thrilled with her win in yesterday’s event on home soil.

She fronted up despite a sleepless night with work and an illness in the family to cruise to victory in a time of 22.22min. She quickly headed back to work after receiving her gold medal.

“It’s great to win at the country titles, it’s great to win any major race, but especially being in Ballarat I love it,” she said.

“I’ve been aiming towards the 20km more so than the 5km so I found that a little bit difficult and I’m at the end of a big training block so I’m a bit tired.

“I love to win here. I’m really proud to be a Harrier and I do it for them and Ballarat aswell. I feel like it’s part of a Ballarat team at meets like this.”

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

BALLARAT MEDAL COUNT

DAY 1

BALLARAT MEDAL COUNT

DAY 1

BALLARAT MEDAL COUNT

DAY 1

GOLD

Kobie Somerfield (H) women’s under-20 5000m walk

Kelly Ruddick (H) women’s open 5000m walk

Nick Milton (W) men’s under-18 400m hurdles

Chris Lang (W) men’s 50+ 400m hurdles

Nick Fidler (W) men’s under-14 1500m

Louise Wood (Y) women’s under-20 3000m

Angela Williams (W) women’s 40+ 3000m

Laura Hutchins (E) women’s under-18 shot put

Rob Lehmann (W) men’s 40+ triple jump

Darcy Edgerton (E) men’s under-14 javelin

Laura Hutchins (E) women’s under-18 discus

Brady Castleman (W) men’s under-16 high jump

SILVER

Andrew Blood (Y) men’s open 5000m walk

David Lenehan (E) men’s 40+ 400m hurdles

Jack Shaw (W) men’s under-18 400m hurdles

Kate Ryan (E) women’s open 400m hurdles

Sam Williams (W) men’s under-16 1500m

Lucas Shugg (W) men’s under-18 1500m

Rachel Gibney (H) women’s 40+ 3000m

Courtney Scott (E) women’s open 5000m

Jesse Fullerton (E) men’s under-20 5000m

Jamie Huggett (Y) men’s open 5000m

Paul Burge (H) men’s 40+ 5000m

Connor Shugg (W) men’s under-14 javelin

BRONZE

Amy Canavan (E) women’s under-14 1500m

Brandon Pryor (E) men’s under-16 1500m

Jack Birmingham (E) men’s under-18 1500m

Andrew Clarke (E) men’s 50+ 3000m

Robert Soar (E) men’s 50+ 3000m

Rhiannon White (E) women’s open 5000m

Ryan Friedrichs(W) men’s under-14 javelin

Ali Bilney (W) women’s under-18 triple jump

Yual Reath (Y) men’s under-16 high jump

Cailtin Christie (W) women’s open high jump

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