Athletics-Silver lining to Tallent's long wait for medals

Sept 29 (Reuters) - The scourge of doping in Russian race walking has long denied Jared Tallent proper dues at the major events but on Saturday the Australian enjoyed another belated recognition of his achievements at the athletics world championships.

Tallent received a pair of 50km silver medals at a ceremony in Doha, having been upgraded from the bronzes he won at the 2011 and 2013 world championships due to doping disqualifications.

At Daegu in 2011, he was third behind Russian winner Sergey Bakulin and runnerup Denis Nizhegorodov.

Bakulin was later disqualified, giving fellow Russian Nizhegorodov the gold and Tallent the silver.

Jared was third again at the 2013 world championships in Moscow behind Irish winner Robert Heffernan but was upgraded to silver after the Russian runnerup Mikhail Ryzhov was also disqualified.

The upgrades come three years after Tallent was awarded a long-awaited Olympic gold medal in the 50km after the 2012 London Games winner, Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin, was stripped of the title for doping.

Tallent now has three world championship silvers, having been runnerup in 2015 behind Slovakia's Matej Toth, to go with his Olympic haul of one gold, two silvers and a bronze.

"It's nice to receive medals for events that I should have received those medals for," Tallent said after the medals ceremony in Doha.

"It sort of makes up for the medal moments I would have had at those championships."

The 34-year-old, who claimed the 50km silver behind Toth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has since had a wretched run of injuries and was ruled out of the 2017 world championships in London and the ongoing edition in Doha.

But he hopes to return to full fitness to qualify for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

"I still want to go to Tokyo and be a medal hope, so it's building towards that," Tallent said.

"My fitness is getting better and I think my hamstring injuries are behind me, so I'm looking forward to the national champs in December.

"Hopefully I can get an Olympic qualifier there and have one last shot at getting on the podium." (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Taoyuan, Taiwan; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)