Australian 10,000-metre record-holder Stewart McSweyn is looking forward to choosing his Tokyo 2020 program after recording his third different qualifying time.
Crucially, the King Islander's third straight Zatopek 10 victory gives him automatic nomination to the Olympic team as national 10,000m champion.
Having also achieved the required benchmarks over 1500m (3:31.81 in Monaco) and 5000m (13:05.63 in London) in July, the 24-year-old can take time to plan the preferred schedule for what will be his maiden Olympic Games.
"I'm kind of leaving it all open," said McSweyn, who reached his maiden major final over 5000m at the world championships in Qatar in September.
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"I'm just going to wait and see what I think is my best chance because I was in the final in Doha and I want to go further than that next year.
"I'm not sure whether I will do the 1500m, 5k or 10k. I'll just wait and see what will be my best chance.
"I want to find that extra 10 per cent to go from being a guy that can make finals and be competitive to a guy that can be at the pointy end of the majors."
Melbourne-based McSweyn was reflecting on a golden night at the city's Box Hill Athletics Track in which his time of 27:23.80 had set a host of precedents.
It broke Ben St Lawrence's Australian and Oceania records of 27:24.95; smashed McSweyn's personal best of 27:50.89 from last year's race; was the second-fastest winning time in the race's 59-year history and left him behind only Ron Clarke (five wins) and four-time winners Luke Kipkosgei, Steve Moneghetti and Andrew Lloyd on the honour roll.
"I love racing in front of a home crowd and the Zatopek is such a big meeting," McSweyn added.
"I always have family over here for this and I'm a bit more eager to do well.
AUSTRALIAN RECORD and Tokyo 2020 auto-nomination - Stewart McSweyn has won the 2019 Zatopek:10 in 27:23.80— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) December 14, 2019
2nd – Patrick Tiernan (27:31.20)
3rd – Jack Bruce (28:15.94)#thisisathletics
Congrats Stewart – you are the 10,000m Australian champion! pic.twitter.com/59A9TRJFgY
"I started the season a bit later so it was a bit of a surprise and I was hanging on for dear life at the end there."
Training partners Brett Robinson and Jordan Williamsz set the pace early and Patrick Tiernan held on until the bell when McSweyn kicked for home, recording a 56-second final lap.
Tiernan's (27:31.20) second place made it the third time in four years the pair have gone 1-2, the Queenslander having won in 2016.
McSweyn contested the 5000-10,000m double at last year's Commonwealth Games before opting for the 1500-5000m at this year's world titles after coming within a second of Ryan Gregson's national record of 3:31.06 over the shorter distance.
He is currently ranked 13th in the world over 1500m, 14th at 5000m and was 23rd at 10,000m heading into the Zatopek race.
Fellow Tasmanian Doug Hamerlok came 24th in 29:57.07.
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