Even though Isaac Beacroft thought he was “done for” in the last few meters of the U20 men’s 10km at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships in Antalya, he persisted. The 16-year-old made his international debut and quickly gained international attention by showcasing incredible courage and perseverance. Beacroft has another important match on his schedule as the World Athletics U20 Championships in Lima draw closer in 100 days.

A Debut to Remember

The race in Antalya was Beacroft’s first competition outside of Australia and only his second road race ever. Despite the unfamiliar territory, he executed a flawless performance, overtaking race leader Shi Shengji of China in a thrilling finish to claim the crown with an Oceanian U20 record of 39:56. This victory made Beacroft the youngest ever winner of a U20 title at the event, cementing his status as a rising star in athletics.

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“I’m just amazed, I can’t believe it. I’m so happy with what I just did,” Beacroft said after his victory. “I thought I was done for when the Chinese athlete put about 50 meters or so on me, and then I clawed it back. Someone got put in the penalty box, and I just thought, ‘okay, that’s my opening here’. I took on the race and timed it right.”

Eyes Set on Lima

With his sights now set on the World U20 Championships in Peru, Beacroft is preparing for the 10,000m race walk scheduled for August 30. “I’ve qualified for the World U20 Championships, so hopefully I can get there and give that a good shake as well,” he shared. As he gears up for this next challenge, Beacroft remains grounded, celebrating his current achievements while maintaining focus on future goals. “For now, I’ll live in the present, celebrate this, get back home to Australia and get among it with my mates, see my family and keep doing what I do, I guess.”


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Beacroft’s journey into race walking began at an early age through a Little Athletics program. Inspired by his father, David, and other family members who had been race walkers, he developed a passion for the sport. Now coached by his father, Beacroft has achieved remarkable success, breaking numerous age group records in Australia.

“I found race walking great, so stuck at it, kept going, and now I’ve ended up here, which is just unreal,” Beacroft reflected. Despite his accomplishments in athletics, he initially balanced his athletic pursuits with Australian rules football, training with the GWS Giants Academy. However, he eventually decided to focus solely on race walking, a decision that has clearly paid off.

Training and Preparation

Most of Beacroft’s training takes place in Blacktown, New South Wales, with additional training camps, including a high-altitude camp in Perisher Valley. His dedication and hard work have been instrumental in his rapid rise. The team environment in Australia has also played a significant role in his development, providing a supportive network that Beacroft values greatly.

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“We got bronze in the team (men’s 10km team event in Antalya, alongside Riley Coughlan), and the last time we did that was Declan Tingay and Kyle Swan (in 2018), who we’ve got a lot to do with,” Beacroft said. “We’re all on the team now and everyone gets along. That’s another point of success for me – the team environment in Australia. We’re all tightly knit and it’s so good to follow in their footsteps and take it on – take on the world.”

Inspirational Mentorship

One of the key figures in Beacroft’s journey has been Jared Tallent, a four-time Olympic and three-time world race walk medallist, who has been a mentor and a source of inspiration. “He shares his experiences and really helps me out,” Beacroft said. “And Brent Vallance, too. He is the head coach of Australia race walking and he has got some awesome advice.”

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Tallent’s praise for Beacroft is unequivocal. “Isaac is a generational talent and a technically brilliant walker,” Tallent noted. “It’s been amazing to watch his progression over the past couple of years, as he’s consistently set new records at every distance in Australia under the guidance of his coach, David Beacroft. He’s a humble and supportive teammate, and it’s great to see him and his fellow competitors working together towards success. Australia now has the deepest field of quality junior male race walkers we’ve ever had.”

A Bright Future

With his victory in Antalya, Beecroft has gained immense motivation as he prepares for Lima and beyond. Determined to honor his family and support network, he remains focused on his goals. “It’s big motivation. The gold medal, I’ve got plenty of people to thank for that,” he said. “I just really want to emphasize my support crew. I don’t say it much, but I appreciate dad and mum and everyone in my group, my friends, my girlfriend – everyone. I couldn’t do it without them.”

As he continues to make strides in his athletic career, Beacroft offers valuable advice for aspiring athletes. “If I could give any advice for anyone coming through – enjoy the sport, that’s what gives you the success,” he said. “A base platform of really loving what you do, and then all the success comes with it.”

Isaac Beacroft’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and a strong support system. As he prepares to take on the world in Lima, his story serves as an inspiration to athletes everywhere, proving that with determination and dedication, anything is possible.

Credit: World Athletics