JARED Tallent is finally on top of the world.
While it’s yet to be formalised, Tallent is set to have his second placing from the London Olympics 50km walk elevated to first following a much-anticipated ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
CAS declared all competitive results obtained by race winner Sergey Kirdyapkin between August 20, 2009 and October 15, 2012 are now disqualified, which includes his victory over Tallent almost four years ago.
The news means Tallent will become Australia’s most successful male track and field Olympian, with the gold to become the nation’s 21st in athletics.
Tallent will also join Russell Mark and Shayne Reese as Ballarat Olympic gold medalists.
While the result is no surprise to the former Ballarat athlete, who has spent years campaigning for history to be amended, Tallent told The Courier on Friday that he felt vindicated in everything he has said during the fight.
“It’s been a very long road to this, but this is a real victory for clean sport,” Tallent said.
Tallent learned of the news late on Thursday night and celebrated the triumph with his wife Claire.
He said the developments hadn’t really sunken in.
“I know I’m the Olympic champion, but I don’t really feel any different to (Thursday),” he said.
“It’s a great feeling to know that I’ll finally go down in history as the winner on that day and forever more I’m the Olympic champion. And I’ll get a gold medal.
“It’s what I always dreamed of and I think what I’ve always deep down known since I raced in London in 2012.”
Tallent said he had received an email from Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates outlining its plans to have a celebration, where Tallent will be presented with his gold medal.
He said this would come after ratification of the CAS decision by the International Olympic Committee, which he expects in June.
Tallent is now looking forward to defending his title at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics later this year.