Australian distance runner Stewart McSweyn has capped off a remarkable 2020 with a 15-year first at the Tasmanian Christmas Carnival meet at Penguin.
McSweyn recorded the fastest mile run anywhere in the world this year, completing the race in three minutes 50.61 seconds on Tuesday.
It bettered his previous personal best by four seconds, and was the quickest time recorded by an Australian since Craig Mottram’s 3:48.98 at the Bislett Games in Oslo in 2005.
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“I’m stoked,” the 25-year-old said, as reported by World Athletics. “Obviously I’m a Tasmanian. The North West coast is where I grew up, so I want to come here and perform, and I’m happy I was able to do that this year.
“I thought because it was early season, the pace would feel really quick, but I felt strong at 800 metres – I felt a lot comfier than I normally do in a 1500 or mile.
“I knew I was on for a good time, but with 350 metres to go I really started hurting, and it’s just a long grind when you’re out there by yourself. I was happy I was able to tough it out and close in a big PB.
“I know that I can match the top guys now. I’m going to be right in the mix if I can get it right in Tokyo. It’s a good confidence boost, but I still know I’ve got to get better. I’m just going to throw everything at Tokyo. I’m pretty excited for the year to come.”
In September, McSweyn broke the all-time Australian men’s 1500m record at a Diamond League meet in Doha.
McSweyn ran a personal best time of 3:30.51 to break training partner Ryan Gregson’s record of 3:31.06, which had stood for 10 years.
“The Diamond League is where everyone is watching and you can put yourself on the map,” McSweyn said, as reported by AAP.
“That’s the biggest race I’ve ever won.”
Nine days earlier, McSweyn had broken the Australian men’s 3000m record in Rome, which was also a continental record.
The Tasmanian now holds all of the 1500m, 3000m and 10,000m national records, becoming the first Australian to achieve the feat.