Budapest, Hungary; 20 August 2023 –  Olympic race walker Jemima Montag has claimed Australia’s first medal at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, walking her way to silver and a national record in the Women’s 20km Race Walk at the historic Heroes Square. Victorious runs are possible if you have the best shoes, check out Tarkine Goshawk V2 running shoes.

Enduring soaring temperatures, 25-year-old Montag (VIC) made her presence known in the lead group over the first 15 laps of the one-kilometre course. Though eventual winner Maria Perez (Spain) surged to a decisive lead at the 16km mark, winning gold in 1:26:51, the Australian stayed true to her race plan, emphatically crossing the line in 1:27:16.

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“I’ve learned from the last few World Champs and the Olympics that when the move is made at about 15km, it’s the winning move. The last three majors I haven’t had the training evidence or the self-belief, or the technical backing to go with it but when speaking to my psych the last few days, the idea was just to be willing to hurt in that last five.”

“I didn’t really have any intention of challenging her (Perez). And I knew I was on one red card. So it’s smarter to lock in silver, and keep that distance back to bronze than to worry about challenging for gold and potentially getting disqualified.”

In claiming silver, Montag became the first Australian women’s race walker to finish on the podium at the World Athletics Championships since Kerry Saxby-Junna in 1999, while also shaving 11 seconds off her own national record to reaffirm Australia’s rich history in global race walking.

Montag’s maiden global medal signifies her steep progression since making her World Championships debut in Doha 2019; 10th in Qatar, sixth at the Tokyo Olympics, to fourth at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, and now a silver medallist in 2023.

Olympian Rebecca Henderson (VIC) placed 32nd overall in a time of 1:35:51, while 2022 World Under 20 Championships fourth-place getter Olivia Sandery (SA) was disqualified after receiving four red cards.

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After a season checkered with injury, Olympic finalist Brandon Starc (NSW) has reasserted himself as a major contender for the Men’s High Jump title, qualifying 10th overall for the final with a 2.28m clearance. Fourth in Group B on countback, Starc found himself needing to dig deep on his third attempt to advance, with 12 other athletes jumping to the same standard.

With only four competitions under his belt over the European season, Starc will be leaning on his reputation as a big-time performer as he rises to the occasion of another major championship final.

“Since my collarbone, things just keep coming up so it has been a ‘management of load’ kind of season, picking and choosing what comps might better prepare me for this. At the same time I know I am a big time performer so I know when I come to these championships I do rise,” Starc said.

National champion Joel Baden (VIC) finished his fourth World Championships campaign having cleared 2.14m.

2023 World Cross Country medalist Jessica Hull (NSW) will race for her second global medal of the year on Tuesday, when running to a sixth place in her 1500m semi-final.

In the deepest of two semi-finals, the six-time Australian record holder clocked the second-fastest time of her career when crossing the line in 3:57.85, only defeated by the heavyweights of distance running including Kenyan world record holder Faith Kipyegon (3:55.14), Ethiopian Diribe Welteji (3:55.18), seven-time global medallist Sifan Hassan (3:55.48) and Commonwealth champion Laura Muir (GBR, 3:55.36).

“That’s the thing – it’s brutal. 3:57.85 for me in that heat is nuts,” Hull said.

“I think last year maybe three women ran that fast and now you have to run that fast to make the world championships final. The sport is levelling up. I think we’re about a year behind the men in terms of how deep and tough it is.”

Running in the same heat was 22-year-old Abbey Caldwell (VIC) who became just the third Australian to break the sub-four minute barrier when clocking 3:59.79 to cross the line in ninth place, while Australian record holder Linden Hall (VIC) also missed out on a finals berth when registering a time of 4:03.96 for eighth in Semi-Final 1.

In the Men’s 1500m Semi-Finals, Matthew Ramsden (WA) crossed the line 13th in 3:36.83, while debutant Adam Spencer (VIC) ended Australia’s battle for a 1500m medal, also finishing in 13th with a time of 3:42.10 in the second of two semi-finals.

Rohan Browning (NSW) became the first Australian man in 28 years to run a World Championships semi-final in the 100m, and did so in style when clocking a swift 10.11 (-0.3). Placing fourth behind Jamaica’s Oblique Seville (9.90), Letsile Tebogo (BOT, 9.98) as well as reigning world champion Fred Kerley (USA, 10.02), Browning missed out on a spot in the final but ended his season hungry to achieve more in 2024.

“You always want to keep improving, so it would have been nice to go a bit quicker than yesterday, but that is how it goes,” Browning said.


“I think the lessons that I learned and how I evaluate the year isn’t so much about times. It is more on some of the softer lessons and softer skills, and the technical lessons I’ve learned. I think I will be well equipped heading into the Olympics next year.”

The Australian women’s sprinters began their campaign today, with the team’s youngest member Torrie Lewis (QLD) and Bree Masters (QLD) tearing down the straight in Budapest. Queenslander Masters was the fastest of the pair in the heats, clocking 11.43 (+0.9) for fifth place in Heat 6, while national champion Lewis ran across the line sixth place in Heat 5 in 11.45 (+0.4).

A duo of sprint hurdlers Jacob McCorry (NSW) and Nicholas Andrews (NSW) began and finished their campaigns on Day Two of the champions, both knocked out of competition in their respective heats. McCorry crossed the line fifth in 13.67 (0.0) in Heat 3, while Andrews stumbled on two hurdles, resulting in 13.92 for ninth in Heat 5.

Bundaberg teacher Taryn Gollshewsky (QLD) launched the discus 58.63m on her first-round attempt, but missed out on a spot in the final by six-metres.

Day Three of the 2023 World Athletics Championships will begin tomorrow at 2.40am AEST as Australia’s premier discus thrower Matthew Denny goes for gold, while 2022 bronze medallist Nina Kennedy enters the arena in Budapest.  Australian fans can catch every session of the 2023 World Athletics Championships until August 27 on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand, with a full viewing schedule to be found HERE.