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Published Mon 14 Sep 2020


Jessica Hull had been knocking on the door of Australian national records for 12 months, but now she’s knocking on the door of world domination.

And at 23 years of age, the party might just be getting started.

At ISTAF in Berlin overnight, Hull ran a scorching 4:00.42 to clinch the 1500m Australian and Oceanian record previously held by Linden Hall (4:00.86), good enough for third placing in a world class field and the fifth fastest time in the world in 2020.

The Albion Park product has now added three national records to her name in 2020, including the 5000m (14:43.80) and indoor 1500m (4:04.14).

So unique is her versatility that she is the first Australian woman to hold both the 1500m and 5000m national records simultaneously in 23 years, a welcomed attribute ahead of Tokyo next year.

“If I looked back to 12 months ago, I never would have thought I would break an area record in the 5000m before the 1500m,” she said.

“To have the 1500m record now is pretty special, that’s the one that I was gunning for and the 5000m was a bonus along the way.”

Hull executed the race to perfection in Berlin, establishing a positive position in the front half of the field of 16 women into the first bend. With the hot pace ensuing a single file formation, the Australian bided her time and gradually progressed over the journey.

With race leader Laura Muir in control as the pilot, Hull locked horns with England’s Lisa Weightman in an enticing duel over the final lap. It was Weightman who would prevail by the narrowest of margins, dragging Hull to the now national record.

Whilst Hull ticked that box, she has already shifted her focus to next year, such is the mindset of the champion.

“Now I’ve got that elusive sub-four 1500m to reset for,” she said.

“I tried not to clock-watch, but I was very alert in the last 500m so I thought I was going to dip under the record, but I was also holding the hope that I might have run 3:59.”

Hull has enjoyed being around her teammates in Europe, a factor that she says has made this unfamiliar year feel a bit more familiar.

“Being around the people you know who are rooting for you as much as you are rooting for them, and being able to work together in training and have fun has been great,” she said.

Turning her attention to the Wanda Diamond League meet in Doha on September 26 where she will run the 3000m, Hull will no doubt be eyeing off Benita Willis’ national record of 8:38.06.

But it is not her primary focus.

“I want to keep competing and I want to keep finishing higher and higher,” she said.

“Now I know I can finish in the top handful with these women, I am backing myself in to be in it and not just thinking about times and records but to be competitive at the top level.”

Jessica Hull’s rise to stardom has been nothing short of incredible, but one would be confident in saying she is destined to soar to far greater heights in the years to come.

To watch the race CLICK HERE

Fellow Australian Genevieve Gregson also took the track in Berlin, finishing 8th in the 3000m Steeplechase in a time of 9:44.01, her first steeplechase in 350 days.

Gregson attacked the race in a bid to make the most of her only steeplechase for the season, and showed positive signs up until the 2000m mark.

The two-time Olympic finalist’s European campaign now consists of a 9:44.01 3000m steeplechase, along with her 15:24.33 5000m in Ostrava and 4:10.76 1500m in Gothenburg.

Stay tuned for the upcoming action in Zagreb featuring Matthew Ramsden, Stewart McSweyn, Ryan Gregson, Joseph Deng, Peter Bol and Nicola McDermott.


By: Lachlan Moorhouse, Athletics Australia
Posted: 14 September 2020