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Montag breaks her own Australian record in 20km walk

Australian Jemima Montag has broken her own national record in the 20km walk at the Australian championships in Adelaide.


Jemima Montag of Australia celebrates as she wins the Womens 10,000m Walk Race on Day 9 of the XXII Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, England, Saturday, August 6, 2022. Image AAP

Jemima Montag has franked her credentials as a red-hot medal contender at the Paris Olympics by smashing her own national 20km record at the Australian race walking championships in Adelaide.


Montag stopped the clock at one hour 27 minutes and nine seconds, stripping seven seconds off the previous Australian mark she set while claiming the silver medal at last year's world championships in Budapest.


The 25-year-old Victorian already has two Commonwealth titles, the 2023 world championships silver and a sixth-placed finish at the Tokyo Olympics on her resume.


Montag has also won the past six national crowns.


She will be among Australia's best medal hopes at the Paris Olympics as the national track and field squad look to build on their record six-medal haul from the 2023 world titles.


Montag beat home a high-class field in Adelaide, with Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Lorena Arenas from Colombia second in 1:27:25 and China's four-time world champ Liu Hong third in 1:27:44.


"I really did have to lift today," Montag said.


"The two women behind me were silver and bronze in Tokyo, so it was a great opportunity.


"It's not just a national championships anymore, it's a silver-label, high-quality meet,.


"I was not expecting the move at 13.5km by my Colombian teammate, it was quite abrupt.


"My brain definitely told me to give up and let her go, but in track and field you need to be flexible with your plan - I didn't want to let her get too far ahead and regret it later."


Canadian Evan Dunfee was first across the line in the men's 20km race in Adelaide on Sunday in a time of 1:19:23.


The Australian title went to the second-placed Kyle Swan (1:19:52).


"I'm very happy with that, I like to race quite aggressively and I had the form to do that today," Swan said.


"If anyone was going to beat me, they would have to walk sub-80 minutes to do it, so I just stuck to my strengths." 


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