'Absolutely brutal': Aussie runner gutted in Olympics 'mayhem'

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Pictured here, Jye Edwards looks shattered after his 1500m heat at the Tokyo Olympics.
Jye Edwards narrowly missed out on making the 1500m semi-finals after a chaotic heat on Tuesday. Pic: Ch7/Getty

Australian middle distance runner Jye Edwards has been left shattered after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the semi-finals of the 1500m at the Olympic Games.

Edwards was caught up in "absolutely brutal" drama in his heat on Tuesday that wiped out one of the medal favourites in the event.

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Poland's Marcin Lewandowski was right next to Edwards in a crowded pack when he toppled over in wet and treacherous track conditions in Tokyo.

The chaotic race also saw another collision with multiple runners falling over and veteran Channel Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney stunned by the carnage.

“Another fall. Can you believe it? It’s mayhem out there,” Bruce McAvaney said in commentary for Channel Seven.

The incidents seemed to halt Edwards' momentum in the race, with the Aussie needing to finish in the top six to make the semis.

He fell agonisingly short after finishing seventh and couldn't hide his disappointment after the race.

“Absolutely brutal," Edwards told Channel 7 about the result.

"This is obviously what Olympic races are like. I had a good preparation leading in. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it done, couldn't execute on the day.

"It is quite frustrating and a pretty messy race too. It is what it is. I thought I was in a good spot earlier, everyone came around, kind of swamped (me) a bit.

"I didn't hold my position until after the end. It's cut-throat, I gave it everything. Pretty disappointed.”

Aussie pair qualify for 1500m semi-finals 

While it was heartbreak for Edwards, there was better news for his two Aussie compatriots Stewart McSweyn and Oliver Hoare, who both made it through to the 1500m semi-finals.

McSweyn's bid to follow in the Olympic footsteps of the legendary Herb Elliott got off to a perfect start.

Making his Olympic debut on Tuesday, the 1500m national record holder controlled his heat from the front before easing off in the final straight to finish third in three minutes 36.39 seconds.

Hoare, who was third in the fastest of the heats in 3:36.09, joined McSweyn in the semi-finals, with the top six advancing automatically.

McSweyn is rated his nation's best chance of claiming a podium finish on the track at the Tokyo Games.

Seen here, Stewart McSweyn running in the heats of the 1500m at the Tokyo Olympics.
Stewart McSweyn is a big medal hope for Australia in the 1500m at the Tokyo Olympics. Pic: Getty

If he delivers on that promise, the 26-year-old would become the first Australian to claim an Olympic medal in the iconic metric mile since Elliott won gold at the 1960 Rome Games.

"It's been a big build-up and I'm happy with that, I felt good," McSweyn told the Seven Network.

"I went into it ready to run as fast as I could if I needed to.

"The focus is now on the semi."

While McSweyn has been the deserved poster boy for the track and field team in Tokyo due to his record-breaking exploits of the past few years, Hoare has been making a name for himself on the US college circuit.

He transferred that form onto the global stage on Tuesday and is now every chance of joining McSweyn in the Olympic 1500m title race - something only Ryan Gregson in 2016 has done for Australia in the past 45 years.

"(Representing Australia) has been a near and dear thing to my heart," said the 24-year-old Hoare who was in the same year at Sydney's Trinity Grammar with sprint star Rohan Browning.

"It's been hard to sacrifice to move to the US and hopefully that sacrifice is paying off right now."

with AAP

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