Australia's Jared Tallent displays his silver medal following a presentation for the Men's 50k walk at the Olympic Stadium at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Australia's Jared Tallent displays his silver medal following a presentation for the Men's 50k walk at the Olympic Stadium at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. DAVE HUNT

Hamstring sidelines Tallent for Gold Coast

OLYMPIC gold medallist and reigning Commonwealth champion Jared Tallent is out of the Gold Coast Games with a hamstring injury.

Tallent hoped to earn selection at the national championships in Adelaide this Sunday but broke down during a trial race last week.

The 33-year-old, who has four medals from three Olympics, will still be at the 20km walk to cheer on wife Claire, who hopes to qualify for the Commonwealth Games just eight months after giving birth to son Harvey.

Tallent did the City-Bay Fun Run last September but has not raced at international level since March, 2017.

"If I already had a qualifying standard I could maybe apply for a medical exemption but Sunday is the last chance to qualify,” he told The Advertiser.

"It's deeply disappointing because I'm the defending champion. I missed out in Glasgow in 2014 (when racewalking was not on the program) so it's been eight years since my last Comm Games.

"It would have been nice to defend my title on the Gold Coast in Australia but hopefully I'll be there cheering on my wife and sister.”

Tallent has acute tendinitis in his left hamstring which is inflammation around the tendon.

He has had problems with his right hamstring since last March but the left one flared up around Christmas.

"When I was training last Wednesday I was doing a bit of a trial around 15km, and with 1km to go I had to stop and my upper hamstring and lower down has been sore ever since,” he said.

"My preparation has been really interrupted. I already had two cortisone injections three weeks apart and it kept on being a bit niggly and flaring up so I hadn't got all the work done that I wanted to.

"My pace was pretty good in the trial but unfortunately my hamstring flared up during that session.”

Tallent, the 2012 Olympic champion and silver medallist from Rio in 2016, is confident the injury is not career-threatening and he can race on towards Tokyo in 2020.

"I'm confident I can get on top of it, I've got to do a lot of work in the gym,” he said.

"I've been really trying to improve my range and flexibility with lot of work at SASI (SA Sports Institute) and it's just one of those things.

"Being in a bit of a rush to get back fit enough to qualify, putting a bit of intensity into my training I wasn't quite ready for it.”

Still, Tallent will be putting on a brave face to cheer for Claire and sister Rachel in their bid to make the Commonwealth Games team this weekend.

"They're both hoping to qualify, it's going to be pretty tough because there would be five girls who can get a spot and it only goes into three.

"I'll definitely be cheering them both on.”



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