[Australia], Feb. 14 (ANI): Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia but equally known in race walking as the home of Jared Tallent, will again launch the IAAF Race Walking Challenge with the Oceania 20km championships on Sunday.
Rio Olympic Games 20km bronze medallist Dane Bird-Smith heads the entries in the men's 20km this year. After finishing second to Jared Tallent in 2013, Bird-Smith has won two of the four Oceania 20km championships since.
He was second across the line in 2014 (when the race was in Hobart) but advanced to first after Tallent was disqualified, missed the race in 2015 and won last year.
Smith will no doubt be looking to bank maximum challenge points at his home event and thereby take an early edge in what could be a race to a position on the dais when the 2017 challenge concludes at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 this August.
A pared down challenge will still visit four of the IAAF's six areas this year. From Adelaide and Oceania, the challenge will move on to two races in the North America, Central America and Caribbean area with stops in the Mexican venues of Ciudad Juarez (12 March) and Monterrey (19 March).
Next off will be Europe, with Rio Major, Portugal, on 1 April before a visit to Asia with Taicang, China, on April 15.
Then it is back to Europe for the last two of 2017's seven challenge competitions, the traditional venue of La Coruna in Spain on June 3 and the finale at the IAAF World championships in London in a unique Festival of Race Walking on The Mall on August 13.
The men's and women's races will also incorporate the Australian championships which is part of the Australian selection process for the IAAF World championships. (ANI)