• To Birmingham 2022

Montag breaks Australia’s 20km walk record

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Steve Larkin / AAP News

 

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist begins 2022 with a bang, as she sets her sights on the Birmingham Games.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jemima Montag has broken a long-standing Australian record in the 20km walk.

Montag has eclipsed three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jane Saville’s record set in 2004 with a stunning performance at the Oceania and Australian 20km race walking championships.

Montag clocked one hour 27.34 seconds in Adelaide on Sunday morning, a time some 10 seconds inside Saville’s previous benchmark.

The 23-year-old, who finished sixth in last year’s Olympic 20km final in Tokyo, claimed her third consecutive national title and also secured selection for the world titles in July.

“It feels surreal at the moment,” Montag said.

“That national record is something I have been thinking about for a few years but we’ve had the pandemic and cancelled races.

“It wasn’t what I had in mind, but I could feel it was on in the first five kilometres.”

 

Montag’s feat came amid urging from her coach Brent Vallance which almost upset her concentration.

“Sometimes you have that fear of success where your coach is yelling out that the record is on today, which is scary because you have the feeling of not wanting to let anyone down,” she said.

Montag finished Sunday’s race more than four minutes ahead of her Tokyo Olympic teammate Rebecca Henderson (1:31:44).

In the men’s 20km walk, Declan Tingay captured his maiden national title — he clocked 1:20:44 to also earn selection for the world championships.

Tingay, who placed 17th in the event at the Tokyo Olympics, finished ahead of Kyle Swan (1:21:39).

Recently Commonwealth Games Australia financially supported Athletics Australia to host a camp for Australia’s elite race walkers through the Green2Gold2Great program.

The Green2Gold2Great funding program supports bespoke Member Sport activities to help achieve Australia’s aspiration of being the No.1 nation at the Games next year.

The Green2Gold2Great funding is part of the $13 million funding package announced by Commonwealth Games Australia in April 2019.

 

 

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August 2022.

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Tour packages are available; however, numbers are limited.

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