Menu
Sport

Birdman set to soar again at world titles

FLYING HIGH: Rio Olympics medallist Dane Bird-Smith is confident of strong finish in the 20km walk at the world championships in London.
FLYING HIGH: Rio Olympics medallist Dane Bird-Smith is confident of strong finish in the 20km walk at the world championships in London. Harry Trump

ATHLETICS: Since winning an Olympic bronze medal in Rio, the biggest difference Dane Bird-Smith has noticed is in the looks.

Every day as he's trained along the Brisbane River, one of the world's best walkers has found he was no longer being viewed as an alien from a different planet, with some people even knowing his name.

"It has been really cool. I've seen such a massive change in perspective on race walking," Bird-Smith said. "Before Rio, I'd be out training in Brisbane and people would honestly look at me quizzically going 'what even is that?'.

"But now I go out Coronation Drive along Brisbane River and people literally call out like 'go Birdman' and 'let's go Dane' and they know and that's unbelievable. That for me is the biggest thing."

With Jared Tallent forced out of the 50km event because of injury, Australia's medal chances rest with Bird-Smith in the 20km event.

At the past two world championships he's finished 11th and eighth respectively but on the back of a race trial at Australia's training camp in the lead-up to London the 25-year-old is confident another medal is there for the taking.

"I haven't raced since February where I did an equal 20km PB to Rio," he said.

"My training since then, I have been doing university at the same time so I haven't come overseas much but I have been ticking off my training and going really, really well.

"I've been at a higher standard than last year.

"(At Tonbridge camp) I decided to do a little time trial. The wind kicked up, the rain kicked up and I still put a five-second PB down and broke the Australian record by another five seconds, so I am in shape.

"The 5k time was 18minutes 33 seconds and that's world leading by about 25 seconds over 5k. I know I am strong and I have got the speed at the end.

"I am chasing medals, I am here for the business end.

"I think I have a good idea of the top four guys I will be up against and I am very very confident in the last 5km after what I have just done that I can turn it on."

20km walk final, Monday, 1.20am (AEST)

Topics:  world athletics championships

News Corp Australia

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Meet the breeder behind the $65k brahman bull

BRAHMAN STUD: Brahman's quenching their thirst

Learn more about the spectacular FBC Felix Manso and Fenech Brahmans

BURNING UP: Temps to hit 40°C with heatwave smashing Qld, NSW

Thursday will continue to see heatwave conditions across much of Queensland and northern NSW. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology

Temperatures at 3am felt like a sunny afternoon.

Pedophile teacher's death in jail sparks inquest

The former teacher traded thousands of child abuse images and his death in custody is the topic of an inquest. (File)

He went downhill after being jailed for vile imagery

Local Partners