After kick-starting the year with a new WA record, Declan Tingay has continued his stellar form, recently returning from the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in China with a bronze medal in the U20 Men’s 10,000m team event.
The team, including Kyle Swan and Mitchell Baker, rounded out the podium positions behind China and Japan and showcased the strong talent coming through the race walking junior ranks.
Heading into the event, Tingay knew he was capable of a sub 41-minute walk, but says experience was his downfall in China, getting caught in the excitement of the race and the crowd, costing him a time penalty with just 200m to go. Waiting in the pitlane and watching his competitors walk by was a tough way to learn the lesson, but Tingay still scraped through with a (road) personal best of 42:01 - thanks to the work he’d put in for a fast first 9.8km.
“I thought I had a pretty good chance of dropping [the trailing pack] coming around the final turn - approximately 600m to go. I was pulled into the pit-lane before I could find out however,” Tingay reflected on the race. “If you know you can’t move a certain speed without being in breach of the rules, then it may be best to sacrifice a bit of speed to avoid being penalised [or] disqualified. The biggest thing we've taken away from this comp is how important it is to race your own race.”
Tingay is better for the experience, setting him in good stead for the upcoming IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland from the 10-15 July 2018. He will compete in the 10,00m walk after claiming victory and securing selection in the U20 Men’s 10,000km Race Walk at the national championship event earlier this year.
“For World U20’s, I definitely want to be going in knowing I'm as technically perfect as possible. We do want to see a sub-41 performance and/or a top 8 finish,” Tingay said of his goals for Finland.
Coached by his father Steven, Tingay has a personal best of 41:07 for the 10,000m (track), produced in January. The performance broke his own WA Under 20 10,000km Race Walk record and he now has the Australian record of 41:02 in his sight. Describing his PB race simply, Tingay said he walked perfectly even splits and chased the international competitors to pull him through.
Looking to the future Tingay will aim to debut in the 20,000m Race Walk at the 2019 World University Games in Napoli, Italy, before setting his aim for a 1:22.00-1:24.00 performance leading into the Olympic year. Whilst focusing on performance, rather than selection, Tingay aims to record the qualification time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.