Hall breaks four-minute barrier in 1500m

·2-min read

Even though it's taken her much longer than expected to become the first Australian woman to break the four-minute barrier in the 1500m, the wait has been very much worth it for Linden Hall.

The 29-year-old Victorian took advantage of perfect conditions on Thursday evening at the Box Hill Classic in Melbourne, stopping the clock at three minutes 59.67 seconds to reclaim her national record from great domestic rival Jessica Hull in the process.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the US-based Hull won't be able to square off against Hall at the Olympic trials in Sydney in mid-April.

But the pair have already effectively locked in their spots for the rescheduled Tokyo Games, where they will be aiming to become the first Australians since Margaret Crowley in 1996 to contest an Olympic women's 1500m final.

Hall fell an agonising 0.21 seconds shy of achieving the feat four years ago on her Olympic debut in Rio and is now a much more accomplished runner.

"As a minimum I've definitely been thinking about getting that one spot higher and making the final," she told AAP.

"I don't think any Australian woman has made a 1500 final since Atlanta, so to do that would be huge.

"And the 1500 is one of those events where if you're in it and you haven't absolutely cooked yourself to get there, you're a chance of a medal if you run smart and have some speed at the end."

With the speed factor in mind, Hall has been running several 800m races in recent weeks, most notably at last weekend's Queensland Track Classic where she smashed her PB with 1:59.22.

But the 1500m remains very much the main game for Hall, who first shot to prominence back in 2016 when she clocked 4:01.78 in Oregon.

"You feel like you're basically there (at sub-four minutes) and you certainly don't expect it to take another five years," she said.

"But the longer it's taken, the more you appreciate it because you know how much went into it.

"The longer it took, at times the more out of reach it seemed.

"But last night was just a perfect night with the weather and having the pace set up.

"It was almost like the opportunity had been handed to me on a silver platter and I had to make the most of it."