Tasmanian runner Stewart McSweyn has smashed the Australian mile record and set the fastest time in the world in seven years, at the Oslo Diamond League.
- McSweyn says his performance proves he’s in “good shape to be competitive” with the top middle-distance runners at Tokyo
- World No. 2 ranked 1,500m runner Jakob Ingebrigtsen has this year recorded a time almost five seconds slower than McSweyn’s
- Fellow Australian Jye Edwards finished in third in the race and moved to third on the Australian all-time list
McSwyen this morning set a time of 3:48.37, slicing .61 seconds off the record set by Craig Mottram in 2005.
The run was the 22nd fastest in history.
It’s also a personal best for the 26-year-old, who will run in the 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000 at the Tokyo Olympics.
The time will make him one of the favourites for the 1,500m at Tokyo.
“I was really happy with how I executed that race. I felt like I had a bit to give that last lap and I was able to run pretty well, so I’m confident the season going towards Tokyo is going in the right direction,” McSweyn said.
“I think this probably shows I’m in good 1,500m shape. There’s going to be a lot of great competitors in the field in Tokyo – we’ve got Jakob Ingebrigtsen, so it’s a loaded field but I’m confident that I’m in good shape to be competitive.”
Ingebrigtsen, from Norway, has been ranked number two in the world in the 1,500m for the past two years.
His personal best is faster than McSweyn’s but, significantly, this season his best time of 3:36.27 is almost five seconds slower than McSweyn’s 3:31.57.
Ingebrigtsen wasn’t racing because he had a throat infection.
McSweyn’s coach, Nic Bideau, who’s in Oslo said: “to win here in an Australian record is really exciting time.”
But he wasn’t surprised.
“He’s been capable of this sort of thing for the last 18 months or so,” Bideau said.
“He knew he could do it, but you still have to get it done.
McSweyn told Bideau straight after the race that “he wished Jakob was there”.
“He felt he could have gone faster,” Bideau said.
Unbelievably, the number one ranked 1,500m runner in the world, Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot, won’t be competing at the Olympic Games because he ran fourth at the country’s Olympic trials, where only the top two finishers are selected.
McSweyn sat behind the pacemakers in the race until the final 600 metres when he sped away from the field.
Another Australian, Jye Edwards finished in third, running 3:49.27 to move to third on the Australian all-time list.
Earlier this year he beat McSweyn at the Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney to qualify for the Olympic Games.
A host of Australian track and field athletes are competing in Oslo to fine-tune their Olympic preparations.
“It was great to win a race like the Oslo dream mile to have an Australian and another Australian in third place,” Bideau said.
“It’s like a haven for world-class distance running and it’s been a really good place for Australians.”
But Bideau said neither he nor McSweyn were taking anything for granted at the Olympic Games which is only three weeks away.
“There’s the Kenyans, there’s the Ethiopians, the Americans and Jye Edwards will be more experienced and better for it,” Bideau said.