A CHANCE to prove himself on home soil - that will be one of the key motivators for Patrick Tiernan should the World Athletics Cross Country Championships go ahead in Bathurst next year.
Like runners from across the globe, the 25-year-old Australian is hoping the status of the coronavirus pandemic improves to the extent that the world titles can proceed as planned in Bathurst on March 20.
It would make the first time in 25 years the event has been staged in Australia.
For the Toowoomba native it would not only be a chance to represent Australia and test himself against the world's best, but to help ease a past disappointment.
Tiernan still carries with him the displeasure of what unfolded when competing in Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
He crossed the line 10th in the 10,000 metres men's final, needed assistance to leave the track as the effort of the race took a toll, then was disqualified for a lane infringement.
"Com Games was a real disappointment for me, I was really looking forward to it, you don't have the opportunity to have a home championship very often," he said.
"It wasn't so much I feel like I let down anyone, it was more I just feel like I wanted to do better in front of my mates and my family.
"That's your profession, that's what you do and you want to show them you can do it to the best of your ability."
Mount Panorama, Bathurst. A spiritual home of Australian sport. To celebrate the one year to go mark, we're proud to unveil the official course animation for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021.#roadtobathurst#WorldCrossCountrypic.twitter.com/9gLayEBYyb— WABathurst21 (@WaBathurst21) March 19, 2020
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The Bathurst event, which will be held at Mount Panorama, offers him the chance to showcase that ability and when it comes to cross country, Tiernan certainly has ability.
In 2017 he became the first Australian to win America's NCAA cross country title since 1960, while that same season he placed 13th at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda.
He is also ranked 23rd in the world on the track over 10 kilometres, the distance he hopes to be tackling come March.
"World Cross Champs this calendar I think is the best of both worlds for me. I think cross realistically is my best event and it's over 10 kay and it's my pet event on the track at the moment," Tiernan said.
"It's something that I've sort of always been good at since I was a kid.
"I'm really excited for it, it's definitely something that I was aiming towards ... I'm just trying to stay healthy and I'll definitely be putting my best foot forwards."