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One of Australia’s most promising athletes to race in Leonora

King Island’s Stewart McSweyn has been confirmed for the elite mile at this year’s Leonora Golden Gift. McSweyn is one of Australia’s most promising athletes, dubbed to be one of the greatest all-time by many.

In Brussels on the 31st of August 2018, the 23-year-old McSweyn crossed the finish line in a new personal best time of 13:05.23 for 5000m, to take him to number two on the all-time Australian rankings list behind the previously untouchable king of Australian middle distance running, Craig Mottram. Having taken 14 seconds off his previous best time and having run an incredible range of personal best times in the months prior, including a 3:34 for the 1500m, 3:54 for the mile, and a 7:34 for 3000m, Mottram’s times are suddenly within reach. Late in 2018 McSweyn became the first Australian winner to go back-to-back in the Zatopek:10 since Steve Moneghetti in the early 1990s with a time 27min50.89sec over the 10,000m distance.
 
Australia marathon legend and the first Leonora event patron, Moneghetti had this to say about the young Tasmanian.
 
“He is mixing it with the best distance runners in the world and his progress has been phenomenal. It’s very exciting to watch such progress in someone so young and there is no reason why he cannot be one of the greatest Australian distance runners of all-time given the breadth of his results. To do what he has from 1500m through to 10k is staggering.”
 
This will be McSweyn’s second trip out to Leonora. In a rain filled 2017 event, Mcsweyn slipped during navigating the turnaround on Tower St injuring his leg and putting him in last place but he would not give up. With true grit he caught up to the field and finished a highly commendable 4th. Going into this year’s event McSweyn is the clear favourite among what is building to be the best field ever assembled in Leonora. 
 
The elite fields will be announced in early May. Entries are now open for all events. Elites must be invited and can contact leonoragoldengift@gmail.com if interested.

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