Bendigo Walkers Club athlete Zoe Boldiston has earned selection in Australia’s team to compete at next year’s Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
The walking ace was in hot form as she won gold at last weekend’s Australian All Schools Championships in Hobart.
Competing in the under-18 5000m walk, Boldiston scored a convincing victory in a time of 25.01 minutes.
She sat with the leaders for the first 2km before breaking away and set up a 50-metre lead to the second-placed athlete between the 2km and 4km mark.
Over the last kilometre she continued to build her lead as she raced to the finish line 170m in front of the second placegetter.
Boldiston hails from Kialla near Shepparton and attends Notre Dame College.
She was the August winner in the bankmecu-sponsored Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year award.
This latest victory was Boldiston’s second national championship win this year.
She won the under-16 girls’ 5km at the Australian walk titles in Adelaide in August.
The gold medal-winning performance capped a remarkable comeback after being sidelined for 12 months because of a back injury, and was her fifth Australian walk title overall.
Another Bendigo Walkers Club member, Amanda Heard from Shepparton contested the under-18 girls’ 5000m walk at the All Schools titles and was seventh in a personal best time of 26.43.69.
At the completion of the All Schools Championships, Boldiston was named in the Australian track and field team to contest the girls’ 5km walk at the Youth Olympic Festival.
The Multi Sport festival for teenage Olympic aspirants will be held in Sydney from Janaury 16 to 20, with 17 sports being held and almost 2000 athletes competing from 30 countries.