09/02/2020    Australian and Oceania Roadwalking Championships



The highly anticipated Australian and Oceania Roadwalking Championships last Sunday morning in Adelaide saw the favourites winning as expected but struggling somewhat in deceptively tough conditions. The 2km lap in the North Adelaide Parklands has generally produced fast times but this year, the lack of Personal Bests was a reflection of the warm and humid weather early on and the buffeting winds later in the morning.


It was obvious by the completion of the first lap that fast winning times were not on offer in the 20km walks, with Evan Dunfee (CAN) leading the men through in 8:30 and the lead group of women passing that mark in 9:40. Dunfee, who led early, was soon joined by Perseus Karlstrom (SWE) and Dane Bird-Smith (QLD) but Bird-Smith soon fell way and was 10 secs in arrears of the leaders by the 10km mark (passed in 41:24) and 10 secs ahead of Marius Ziukas (LTU) who was in fourth place. Positions remained unchanged until the final 2km when Karlstrom put the foot down and swept away from Dunfee, going on to win this race for the third time in a row, albeit with a slower than expected 1:21:57 (last lap 7:32). Although unable to match the pure speed of Karlstrom, Dunfee still finished strongly to take second with 1:32:32, ahead of Bird-Smith with 1:23:01. The Australian and Oceania Championships medals went to Bird-Smith, Rhydian Cowley (VIC) and Kyle Swan (VIC), with all 3 walkers bettering the 1:28:00 World Team Championships standard set by Athletics Australia. Bird-Smith also confirmed his Olympic nomination by dint of winning the Australian selection trial.



Little separated the top women early on, with Jemima Montag (VIC), Katie Hayward (QLD), Beki Smith (ACT) and Alana Barber (NZL) all passing the half way mark together at 47:06. Barber was the first to drop off, followed by Smith, leaving Montag and Hayward to fight out the finish. As in the men’s race, the final 2km decided the winner, with Montag storming home with her fastest lap of 9:01 to take victory with 1:33:15. Montag, Hayward and Smith won both the Australian and Oceania medals and all bettered the 1:36:00 World Team Championships standard set by Athletics Australia. Montag also confirmed her Olympic nomination with her win in what was the official Australian trial.


Strong U20 male and female fields contested their own Oceania Championships and, although they finished in the expected order, they were nearly all well outside their PBs, due to the buffeting winds that steadily increased during their race. Tristan Camilleri (SA) and Gwyllym Young (ACT) went into the men’s race with the fastest times and both lived up to expectations, matching each other stride by stride throughout the 10km before Camilleri kicked away in the final 1km to win with 44:44. Victorian Corey Dickson took third place ahead of Mitchell Baker (ACT) and Will Thompson (VIC), only 11 secs separating the 3 boys. All five bettered the World Walking Cup standard of 46:30 set by Athletics Australia but none could reach the World Junior standard of 43:20. By way of contrast, Victorian Rebecca Henderson was untroubled to win the junior girls’ race (48:23) ahead of Queenslander Caitlin Hannigan (49:39) and fellow Victorian Alanna Peart (49:54), all 3 girls bettering the World Team Championships standard of 50:30 set by Athletics Australia. We now look set to field full U20 teams in these championships which are due to be held in Minsk, Belarus, in early May.


Finally to the U18 invitational 5km roadwalk which saw 12 year old Victorian Darcey Roberts win comfortably with 26:03.


Frustratingly, at the time of writing this, Athletics Australia is still to publish the results, so all I can do is reproduce an informal subset from the Athletics Victoria facebook page.


Open Men 20km  - Australian and Oceania Championship

1 Perseus Karlstrom                       SWE                41.25           1.21.57

2 Evan Dunfee                                  CAN                41.24           1.22.32

3 Dane Bird-Smith                           QLD                 41.35           1.23.01           WTC Qualifier

4 Marius Ziukas                                LTU                  41.45           1.23.06

5 Rhydian Cowley                           VIC                  42.08           1.24.40           WTC Qualifier

6 Kyle Swan                                       VIC                  42.53           1.27.41           WTC Qualifier


13 Jason Kozica                                VIC                  47.14           1.35.57

15 Adam Garganis                           VIC                  47.06           1.37.??


Open Women 20km - Australian and Oceania Championship

1 Jemima Montag                           VIC.                 47.06           1.33.15           WTC Qualifier

2 Katie Hayward                              QLD                 47.06           1.34.00           WTC Qualifier

3 Beki Smith                                      ACT                 47.06           1.35.06           WTC Qualifier

4 Alana Barber                                  NZL                  47.06           1.35.52

5 Simone McInnes                          VIC                  47.51           1.37.32           PB 1:45

6 Brigita Virbalyte                            LTU                  47.51           1.37

7 Rachel Tallent                                VIC                  47.51           1.40.10


U20 Men 10km - Oceania Championship

1 Tristan Camilleri                            SA                    44.44           WTC Qualifier

2 Gwyllym Young                            ACT                 45.01           WTC Qualifier

3 Corey Dickson                               VIC                  45.40           WTC Qualifier

4 Mitchell Baker                               ACT                 45.50           WTC Qualifier

5 Will Thompson                              VIC                  45.51           WTC Qualifier


U20 Women 10km - Oceania Championship

1 Rebecca Henderson                   VIC                  48.23           WTC Qualifier

2 Caitlin Hannigan                           QLD                 49.39           WTC Qualifier, PB 1:53

3 Alanna Peart                                  VIC                  49.54           WTC Qualifier


8 Jemma Peart                                 VIC                  55.33

10 Charlotte Hay                              VIC                  58.24


U18 Girls 5km Invitation

1 Darcy Roberts                               VIC                  26.03

2 Kiera Ross                                       SA                    29.32

3 Ruby Langford                              SA                    30.11



Full results in the section Results or directly download from this link: click here



Photo Gallery: http://www.vrwc.org.au/piwigo/index.php?/category/562.


Tim Erickson

Sunday 9 February 2020



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