Trippas gets Olympics steeplechase time

·1-min read

Australian steeplechaser Ed Trippas has shown nerves of steel by leaving it to the last possible moment to book his spot in the field for the Tokyo Olympics.

The US-based Trippas moved to third on the Australian all-time list by smashing his personal best with a time of eight minutes 19.60 seconds at a meet in the Spanish city of Castellon on Tuesday night (early Wednesday AEST).

More importantly, it made him the only Australian steeplechaser to better the tough Tokyo Olympics automatic qualifying standard of 8:22.00.

And to top off a clutch display, the 23-year-old did it on the final day of the qualifying period.

"I felt like I needed some time to train, adjust and re-set after arriving in Europe," said Trippas.

"It felt like my best chance was going to be a race as late as possible so I decided to go all in.

"I didn't really feel pressure coming in because I would either run the qualifying time, or miss it and still finish the season with a good PB and momentum heading into next year, probably sitting on a beach in Europe for a few days enjoying myself.

"It is a cool story though that I qualified with two and a half hours remaining before the deadline."

Scholarship holder Trippas took a year off his studies at Princeton University to focus on qualifying for the Olympics, a decision that has now paid off handsomely.

The only other Australians to have ever bettered the 8:20 mark for the steeplechase are long-retired duo Shaun Creighton and Youcef Abdi.

The full Australian track and field team for the Tokyo Games will be named in early July.

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