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The King of King Island dominates Zatopek:10

Published Sat 14 Dec 2019

For the third straight year Stewart McSweyn has won the men’s Zatopek:10, this year the event was held at Box Hill Athletics Track.

He ran 27:23.80, which is an Australian 10,000m record and a Tokyo 2020 qualifying time.

The Tasmanian athlete – McSweyn who has already achieved a qualifying time in the 1500m (Monaco in July) and the 5000m (London – July), said after the race that he hadn’t made up his mind yet which event he was going to target:

“I’m kind of leaving it all open,” McSweyn said.

“I’m just going to wait and see what I think is my best chance because I was in the (5000m) final in Doha (at the World Athletics Championships) and I want to go further than that next year.

“I want to try and be the guy who competes for medals.”

Training partners Brett Robinson and Jordan Williamsz set the pace for McSweyn early and he had Queensland’s Patrick Tiernan for company until the final lap, when he kicked into another gear and left his rival behind.

Second in the race was Patrick Tiernan (Queensland) in 27:31.20 and third was Jack Bruce (Queensland) in 28:15.94.

In the women’s race, which started an hour before the men’s race - duel Olympian Genevieve Gregson (Queensland) won it in 32:47.83.

Gen already has a Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier in 3000m steeplechase (Doha – September).

The win in the Australian Championship gives her an opportunity to secure a spot to represent the green and gold in Tokyo, but if she can run the qualifying time of 31:25.00 she will get an auto-qualification.

“The goal was to win here, get my auto spot and now chase the time,” Gregson said.

Speaking about the race, Gregson said:

“I kind of had a little play up my sleeve because the last three to four years I’ve paced this race,” Gregson said.

“When I decided to run it meant there was no pacer, which only suited me.

“It was a very relaxed tempo for most of the race, which could only fall into my hands.

“I was never going to lead. My tactics were stay as far away from the front and leading as possible and just make sure you’re there with the last k.

“Luckily for me I had people like Emily (Brichacek) working so hard and keeping the pace reasonably honest to get rid of a few kickers and it just couldn’t have worked out any better.”

Both Genevieve Gregson and Stewart McSweyn are coached by Nic Bideau.

For full results from the Zatopek 10,000m go here.