Ian Chadband / AAP News
The Birmingham bound Australian runner has broken compatriot Stewart McSweyn’s record with a stirring run.
Australian runner Ollie Hoare has been pushed to a brilliant new athletics landmark in Oslo’s Dream Mile, setting a new Oceanian record while challenging Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen.
The 25-year-old Hoare was the only runner to live with Norway’s home idol Ingebrigtsen before the Olympic champion powered away down the home straight to earn victory on Thursday in one of the great races on the international calendar.
But while Ingebrigtsen just missed out on breaking Steve Cram’s 37-year-old European mile record at the Diamond League meeting with his 3min 46.46sec run, runner-up Hoare was able to celebrate smashing Stewart McSweyn’s Oceanian mark in 3:47.48.
“It was a special race. The Oslo Diamond League for Australians has seen a lot of records set there, it’s just a special place and tradition,” said a thrilled Hoare.
“For me to go out there to represent and continue that is an absolute privilege.”
He may have ended some 10 metres adrift but on a damp Oslo night, it was another world-class effort from the Sydneysider, who never let the dazzling 21-year-old Norwegian off the hook in the paced race.
By halfway, it was down to just three – Ingebrigtsen, Hoare and Britain’s Jake Wightman – and, by the bell, only two with Hoare just clinging on amid deafening crowd noise on the final circuit which the Norwegian covered in 57 seconds.
“It was pretty intimidating but also awesome to be a part of. I tried to put pressure on Ingebrigtsen but he’s a lot stronger than me right now. I’m really happy with that but there is still work to do,” said Hoare.
In the famous old Bislett Stadium, Ingebrigtsen had targeted Briton Cram’s venerable mark of 3:46.32, also set there in 1985.
But while he fell just short, McSweyn’s 3:48.37 – also set at Bislett last July – was obliterated by a huge 0.89sec margin by Hoare, whose time puts him 13th on the milers’ all-time list, one place behind the great Seb Coe.
It also rubbed off Hoare’s previous personal best o f 3:50.65 set at the Bowerman Mile at Eugene last month when he again had to give best to Ingebrigtsen.
It was a fine night too for another Aussie, Melbourne’s Jack Rayner, whose gutsy sixth place in a 5,000 metres race dominated by Ethiopians – Telahun Haile Bekele won in 13min 03.51sec – also earned him a new lifetime best 13:06.00.
But sprinter Rohan Browning had a chastening evening, finding the going too hot in the 100 metres as he finished seventh – one from last – in 10.28sec.
Way up ahead, Canada’s Olympic bronze medallist Andre de Grasse pipped Briton Reece Prescod by one-hundredth of a second in 10.05sec, with South African Akani Simbine third in 10.09.
All three are likely to face Browning at the Commonwealth Games, as well as Ghana’s fourth-placed Benjamin Azamati (10.15) and Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon, fifth in 10.16.
Catriona Bisset’s season’s best 1min 59.42sec was only good enough for seventh in a high-quality 800 metres as Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson secured her third straight Diamond League win in 1:57.71.
Along with Ingebrigtsen, Sweden’s world record holder Armand Duplantis was the international star of the night in the pole vault with a world-leading 6.02m for the outdoor season.
“I only have the Stockholm Diamond League now ahead of the World Championships, and I feel good ahead of the big dance,” said ‘Mondo’.