THREE-time Olympic medallist Jared Tallent took out the bronze medal on Saturday in the men’s 50-kilometre walk at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in China.
The Ballarat athlete, who won the Ballarat Sportsperson of the Year in February for a fifth time, has won seven medals back-to-back at every major championship since claiming gold at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
This is his third consecutive medal over the distance at the world racewalking cup.
“It was a quick race and my race went to plan at the start. I went out with the Russians and made a move at about 15km to push the pace up, but they were too strong in the closing stages,” Tallent said in China.
“Honestly, I am a little disappointed to not win the gold ... but to know that I could hold on to the bronze position pretty comfortably in those closing stages is a big positive to take away from today.
“It can be really tough when you are the only man not in red, white and blue in the lead pack.”
Tallent pushed the pace and went to the front from the start alongside Russian world championships silver medallist Mikhail Rhyzov, who won gold in three hours, 39 minutes, five seconds.
Russian Ivan Noskov was runner-up in 3:39:38, having joined Tallent and Rhyzov through the first 10km.
Tallent took an almost 50-metre lead from the Russian contingent and came through the 16km mark as a clear leader in 1:10:53.
He held on until the 20km split, when Rhyzov and Noskov joined him.
Heading through the halfway mark in 1:50:33, the trio battled it out until just before the 30km split when the Russian pair surged away.
Ballarat’s Kelly Ruddick, in her first world cup meet, posted a season best time of 1:34.00 and finished 49th in the women’s 20km event. Tanya Holliday was the first Australian to cross the line, 39th, in 1:32:36.