Olympic trio do us proud in Rio

Rio 2016 Olympic Games

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 19: Regan Lamble of Australia competes in the Women's 20km Walk final on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Pontal on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

MUAC Olympians Lisa Weightman, Regan Lamble and Joel Baden will return to Melbourne with their heads held high after giving their all in the 31st Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio.

Lamble’s 9th place was a significant step up for her in her second Olympics, achieving a top-10 finish in the women’s 20km walk to record the third best performance by an Australian in the event’s history.

With men’s 50km silver medallist Jared Tallent working the drinks station, the Aussie trio of Lamble, Tanya Holliday and Rachel Tallent gave it all they had in hot and windy conditions.

Lamble crossed the line in ninth in a time of one hour, 30 minutes and 28 seconds.

Holliday was 26th in 1:34.22 and Tallent 40th in 1:37.08.

Lamble’s effort, inparticular, was outstanding.The 24-year-old from Melbourne was in the lead pack for the first 10kms and valiantly tried to stay in touch as a group of seven broke away.

Lamble battled on strongly to cross the line ninth and record the third best performance by an Australian in the event’s short history, after Jane Saville’s bronze-medal winning effort at the 2004 Athens Games and Kerry Junna-Saxby’s seventh placing at the Sydney 2000 Games.

“I was really happy with today,” Lamble said.

“We were hoping for a top-10 performance so ninth, I’m pretty chuffed with ninth.

“Today was still definitely a learning experience.

“I think I’ve still got a few more years of improvement in me as well.”

In a thrilling finish, China’s Liu Hong (1:28.35) won gold by just two seconds from Mexico’s Maria Gonzalez (1:28.37).

China’s Lu Xiuzhi won bronze in 1:28.42.

And as for having Jared Tallent manning the drinks station just hours after his own 50km race?

“That was awesome,” Lamble said, noting his performance was a great motivator for the women’ team.

“That really inspired me because I am so proud of him and I’m so proud of Chris Erickson as well, he’s my training partner, and also a few of the other international men we train with as well.

“To watch that this morning, it was nerve-wracking, but I was absolutely so proud of them all and it really inspired me today.

“To have Jared on the drinks table, it’s a bit of an honour really to have the silver medallist giving out your drinks and cheering you on every lap.

“It was an amazing day.”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Mai Ito of Japan competes during the Women's Marathon on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Sambodromo on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Australian marathon runners Milly Clark, Jess Trengove and Lisa Weightman have produced strong runs in the women’s marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

In tough, warm conditions around the flat picturesque course, that started and finished in the famous Sambodromo carnival venue, the Australians started conservatively and worked their way through the field.

The speed early was under Olympic record pace but the Australians ran their own race in the large field of 141 competitors from 80 nations.

Weightman, in her third Olympic marathon, was 22nd at the 25km mark and moving through the field but in the closing stags the legs wouldn’t go how she wanted and she dropped back to 31st in a time of 2:34.41.

Weightman, who was 16th in London, was disappointed with how she finished.

“I came her in career best shape but it just wasn’t my day. When I went to push my legs just didn’t want to go.”

The gold medal was won by Kenyan Jemima Sumgong in 2:24.04 – remarkably the first marathon gold for a Kenyan woman.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Joel Baden of Australia competes in the Men's High Jump qualification on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Joel Baden, making his Olympic debut at 20, cleared 2.17m but was eliminated after failing to clear 2.22m.

The men’s high jump qualifying was temporarily placed on hold as Bolt ran 9.81 seconds and into athletics immortality.

Baden, having qualified with a MUAC record 2.29m, found the going tough after a long campaign to qualify and prepare for the games. Guided by MUAC legend Sandro Bisetto, Baden looks to have a long career ahead of him, with the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games all firmly on the agenda for the high jumper.

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Rio 2016 Olympic Games