'Wow': Aussie runner stuns athletics in never-before-seen moment

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Seen here, Oliver Hoare celebrates his incredible indoor 1500m win.
Oliver Hoare clocked the seventh fastest indoor 1500m time in athletics history. Pic: Youtube/Flotrack

Oliver Hoare. Remember the name.

The Australian middle distance runner went into a New York meet over the weekend as a relative unknown, but he left it as the talk of the athletics world.

Hoare powered home in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix to smash Stewart McSweyn's national and Oceania records in the 1500m with a winning time of 3:32.35.

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Astonishingly, it was the seventh fastest time ever recorded in the event, catapulting the Sydneysider into Olympic Games reckoning.

In a classy field that included Scottish runner-up Jake Wightman, who finished fifth at the 2019 world championships, and Kiwi star Nick Willis, the Aussie's incredible turn of speed in the final stages of the race saw him finish comfortably in front.

Hoare barely rated a mention from one commentator until the closing stages when he put the foot down and blew his fellow competitors away.

When the 24-year-old Aussie clocked in at 3:32.35 it left the commentator lost for words.

"Wow", was about all he could utter as the enormity of Hoare's incredible run sunk in.

Fans on social media were equally gobsmacked by the young Aussie's remarkable feat.

Insane time well inside Olympic qualifying mark

Hoare's extraordinary time, as well as breaking several domestic records, would see him better the tough Olympic qualifying mark by a whopping three seconds.

"I love running indoors, even though I'm an Australian," Hoare said afterwards.

"I just really wanted to run under that Olympic standard (3:35.00)."

Hoare's blistering display has seen him touted as Australian athletics' next big medal hope in the men's 1500m.

Olympic great Herb Elliot claimed gold in the same event at the Rome 1960 Games, but no Aussie man has even managed to medal in 1500m since.

While the excitement around Hoare's Olympic prospects are completely justified, a quirk in Athletics Australia's (AA) section policy means he's by no means guaranteed of a ticket to the Tokyo Games later in the year.

AA gives preference to its track and field stars competing in the upcoming Australian Track and Field Titles in April, when it comes to selecting the squad to compete at the Olympic Games.

The unfortunate quirk means that if three local runners finish under the Olympic qualifying time in April, then Hoare will likely miss out on selection.

Pictured here, Oliver Hoare finishes the 1500m race well ahead of his nearest rival.
Oliver Hoare finished well ahead of his nearest competitor in New York. Pic: Youtube/Flotrack

It was an incredible weekend for Australia's middle-distance runners, with Charlie Hunter and Morgan McDonald also breaking national records.

Competing at the Tyson Invitational meet at the University of Arkansas, 24-year-old Hunter bettered two national marks in the space of 24 hours.

He got the ball rolling by clocking three minutes 53.49 seconds in the mile on Saturday (AEDT).

But the New South Welshman's back-up performance was even better.

Hunter won the 800m in 1:45.59 to strip more than a second off the Australian and Oceania records previously held by Joseph Deng.

McDonald clocked the fastest indoor two-mile time by an Australian with 8:14.92.

It was further proof of the impressive depth in Australia's male middle-distance running stocks less than six months out from the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

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