Ryan Gregson (Vic) has executed a brilliant race to clock a season best 3:34.27 for third in the men’s 1500m at Round 5 of the IAAF Diamond League in Rome (ITA).
Among the contenders throughout the race and taking the lead as he came into the straight before Elijah Manangoi (KEN, 3:33.96) edged to the front to win, the national record holder was outstanding, with the result a season best performance and his third consecutive Rio 2016 standard at the distance.
Gregson is cautiously building with confidence with every run and he set to compete in his preferred event again when Birmingham (GBR) welcomes the world this Sunday 5 June.
“My confidence is building, but I also know there’s still a long way to go until the Olympics and they don’t hand out medals in June,” Gregson said.
“I certainly feel like I belong among good company now. I always believed I was capable of results like this if I was able to get an uninterrupted preparation under my belt.
“My goal has always been to make the Olympic 1500m final. It’s a very competitive event right now, I could run this well and still miss out. If can hold this form, though, I’m giving myself the best possible chance.”
Not to be outdone, the IAAF World Indoor Championships silver medallist Fabrice Lapierre has also delivered a podium finish in Rome (ITA), soaring 8.18m (w: -0.2) for third in the men’s long jump.
The result is Lapierre’s third finish on the dais from as many starts at 2016 IAAF Diamond League meetings, with one final appearance on the runway scheduled for Round 6 before he returns to Phoenix (USA) for continued training under the guidance of Dan Pfaff.
Lapierre was edged out for the win today by world champion Greg Rutherford (GBR, 1st, 8.31m) and Marquise Goodwin (USA, 2nd, 8,19m), with his series also including jumps of 7.39m, 7.96m, two passes and a foul.
Rounding out the Australians in action was Benn Harradine (Qld), who placed 7th in the men’s discus with a season best throw of 61.64m.
Attention now turns to the North Queensland All-Comers, with a plethora of athletes descending on Townsville (Qld) in the hunt for a qualification standard to compete at Rio 2016. Steven Solomon (NSW) headlines the starters in the men’s 400m, while in the field Joel Baden (Vic) will compete in the men’s high jump with the 2.29m mark in his sights.
For more information, please click here to view this week’s Athlete Update.
The IAAF Diamond League continues this weekend in Birmingham (GBR). Entry lists confirm the start of London 2012 Olympic champion Sally Pearson (100m hurdles) alongside Morgan Mitchell (400m), Luke Mathews (600m), Gregson (1500m), Brett Robinson(Vic, 3000m), Ben St Lawrence (3000m), Eloise Wellings (5000m), Lapierre (long jump) and Harradine (discus throw).
To view results from the Golden Gala in Rome (ITA) and to download entry lists for Birmingham (GBR), please click here.