A possible assault on the Australian record books

The men and women's 1000m records are within striking distance at the Box Hill Burn, while McSweyn will chase Mottram's incredible 5000m record.
Bisset, Hall and Small will chase the women's 1000m record. Credit Inside Athletics

The Box Hill Burn in Melbourne this evening is one of the more exciting running events on Australian soil in recent memory. 

The depth of talent is seriously impressive, and if the conditions are good, it could be an all-out assault on the national record books. 

There’s a legitimate chance the men’s and women’s 1000 metre records will fall, so make sure to tune-in. The men start at 8:23 pm and the women kick-off at 8:30 pm.

The race of the night, however, will be the men’s 5000 metre A race, where Stewart McSweyn will be looking to run sub-13 minutes. 

If he wants immortality, though, he’ll need to better Craig Mottram’s mark of 12:55.76. That means running a greater than 10s personal best.

What are the current 1000 and 5000 metre records? 

Distance Time Athlete Date Achieved
1000 m2:37.80Brittany McGowan18 August 2018
1000 m2:16.09Jeff Riseley17 June 2014
5000 m14:43.80Jessica Hull14 August 2020
5000 m 12:55.76Craig Mottram30 July 2004

The men’s 1000m

Riseley’s time is legit. It’s the 66th fastest 1000m time in the world (all-time) and an Oceania record.

The real threats in this race are the 800 metre guns: Peter Bol and Joseph Deng. Both ran 2:17 in time trials in mid-2020, before heading overseas to compete in the Diamond League. 

Another runner to watch is their squad member, Brad Mathas. An 8-time national champion in New Zealand in the 800m, Mathas will be eyeing off the Oceania and Kiwi record.  

The women’s 1000m

Brittany McGowan’s national 1000m record is certainly within striking distance of the elite women lining up in this race. 

Taking aim at McGowan’s mark will be the national record holder in the mile, Linden Hall, and the country’s fastest-ever 800m athlete, Catriona Bisset. Keely Small is another phenomenal athlete to watch.  

When the dust settles, there could be a few runners under the previous record. The question is, who will come out on top? 

The women’s 5000m

Jessica Hull’s 5000 m record is an untouchable thing. Take that statement to the bank. But that doesn’t mean this race won’t be packed with drama.

The field is small, but features some quality athletes who could make a serious run at an Olympic qualifier (15:10.00). 

Fresh off their solid — some might say breakthrough — performances at Zatopek, Rose Davies and Izzi Batt-Doyle will once again be toeing the line and going head-to-head. 

Rose Davies and Izzi Batt-Doyle competing at Box Hill for the 2020 Zatopek10. Credit Inside Athletics

Davies has run 8:58 for 3k, and has a 5000m personal best of 15:30, which she’ll be looking to significantly better tonight. 

Batt-Doyle, who has a slightly faster personal best of 15:26, will also look to showcase her improvement. And another contender, not to be underestimated, is Melissa Duncan, who has run 15:18. 

With Genevieve Lacaze-Gregson on pacing duties, these athletes should be in with a chance to make a run at the standard. And if not, it should still be a close race.  

The men’s 5000m

This race is just nuts. Four athletes on the starting list have 5000m times inside the Oceania Top 20: McSweyn, Brett Robinson, Matt Ramsden and David McNeill. 

Add to that line-up Liam Adams and Ryan Gregson, and potential pacers in Jack Rayner and Jordy Williamsz. It’s an all-star game.

It would be amazing to see McSweyn make history, but it’s easy to forget how truly remarkable Mottram’s record is: 60th all-time.

It’s highly unlikely that record falls tonight, but that’s almost beside the point. Getting a chance to watch all these athletes in one race, on home soil, is a spectacle not to be missed. 

And just like in the women’s race, there will be some legit contenders to make the Olympic standard (13:13.50). 

McSweyn and Patrick Tiernan have already run qualifiers, but that third spot is up for grabs. 

Robinson has run 13:15.91. Ramsden has run 13:16.63. And McNeill has gone 13:18.60. If the pace is on from the start, all three could be chasing the prestigious mark. Get your popcorn ready!

NOTE: Feature image is from Inside Athletics. Follow them on Instagram @insideaths

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