Jared Tallent brought two medals home from the Beijing Olympics, but he left the Victorian championships empty-handed after being disqualified in the men’s 5,000 metres walk on Saturday.
Tallent crossed the line in first place but received three red cards for losing contact, although he didn’t receive confirmation of his disqualification until his coach rang him as he was about to board a flight back to Canberra.
He kept walking right out of Olympic Park after crossing the line 80 metres ahead of fellow-Olympian Chris Erickson and went straight to his car to race to the airport and the last flight to Canberra.
Erickson was the beneficiary, taking the title in 19 minutes 25.98 seconds.
Ironically, he was disqualified in the 20km walk in Beijing, the event in which Tallent took the bronze medal before taking silver in the 50km.
Both Erickson and Tallent are targeting the Australian 20km championship which will be held in Melbourne on March 7. The championship is also the selection race for this year’s world championships in Berlin.