King Islander Stewart McSweyn runs world championship qualifier

Australians Collis Birmingham and Stewart McSweyn after the 5000m at the Morton Games. Picture: Twitter
Australians Collis Birmingham and Stewart McSweyn after the 5000m at the Morton Games. Picture: Twitter

Stewart McSweyn chose an unlikely venue and event to become the fourth Tasmanian to qualify for next month’s athletics world championships.

The Morton Stadium in Dublin hosts an annual international meeting that has been graced by middle-distance greats like Kip Keino, Steve Ovett and John Walker.

On Wednesday, the King Islander added his name to that illustrious honour roll and in the process achieved a qualification time for his maiden track world titles. 

McSweyn ran the 5000-metres in 13:19.98, well inside the world champs entry time of 13:22.60.

Entering with a personal best of 13:34.46, the 22-year-old passed fellow Australian Collis Birmingham on a final lap he ran in 58 seconds.

Moving him to 12th on the all-time Australian 5000m list, McSweyn joins Queenslander Patrick Tiernan and Victorian Sam McEntee in achieving the standard.  

The qualification was a welcome shock to this year’s Australian cross-country champion who had been targeting the world championships in his pet event, the 3000m steeplechase, having run agonisingly close to the required 8:32 several times.  

McSweyn has already worn the green and gold this year, representing Australia at the IAAF world cross-country championships in Uganda in March.

He joins fellow UTAS Athletics Club members Hamish Peacock (javelin) and Josh Harris (marathon) plus Launceston-born Sydneysider Milly Clark (marathon) on the list of athletes qualified for the world titles to be held in London from August 5.