Stewart McSweyn's decision on which events to run at his maiden Olympic Games is being heavily swayed by the athletics schedule in Tokyo.
The Australian champion over 5000 and 10,000 metres is a confirmed Olympic nomination for both and also hopes to add the 1500m before deciding which events to enter.
However, having the 1500m and 5000m heats both on Tuesday, August 4, and finals just a day apart prevents McSweyn from taking on the shorter double which he ran at the 2019 world championships.
With the 10,000m straight final on the opening day of the track and field program (July 31), the national record-holder is likely to run that followed by one of the shorter distances.
I'll leave it until late to decideStewart McSweyn
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This could mean a repeat of the 5000-10,000 double that McSweyn tackled at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, or the rarely-attempted 10,000 and 1500m combination.
"I'm going to have to work it out in training," the 24-year-old King Islander told Olympics Unleashed Tokyo.
"I'll work out what I think I'm going to have my best chance in based on how I'm training and where I think I will finish the highest in the Olympics and probably decide a month out.
"I'll leave it until late to decide.
"The first step is to qualify for the 1500 and try and book my spot in that ... but I think I can only do the 10 and 5 or 10 and 1500.
In this episode of Olympics Unleashed- Tokyo, presented by Optus, @Stewy_mac3 shares his journey in athletics, from his humble upbringing on a farm in King Island to Australia’s fastest 10km runner.— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) February 19, 2020
Tune in below 👂🎧https://t.co/AjQwMEuCvI#TokyoTogetherpic.twitter.com/fhTpYr8F3R
"I'm optimistic I can perform well in whatever I do and just lucky I can train similar for 10k and 1500 and just decide what I think I have my best chance in."
A veteran of two track and field (2017 and '19) and cross-country (2013 and '17) world championships and a World University Games in 2015, Launceston-born McSweyn is no stranger to the world stage, but admits the Olympics will be a whole new ball game.
"It's the major I haven't ticked off yet and being in an exciting country like Japan will make it a pretty special event so I don't think I could be any more excited for what's to come in 2020."
Coached by Nic Bideau in Melbourne, McSweyn plans to base himself in Teddington, London, for a European track season likely to start with the Oslo Diamond League on June 11.
"I'm just focusing on competing because I'm going to be racing the same people I will be against at the Olympics so I want to gain a bit of confidence that I can match it with those guys.
"I just want some consistent training, to run well in Diamond League and get a bit of race practice and confidence before I focus on Tokyo."
McSweyn is currently ranked in the top 16 in the world for all three distances with personal bests of 3:31.81 for the 1500m (set in Monaco in July 2019), 13:05.23 for 5000m (Brussels, August 2018) and 27:23.80 for 10,000m (Melbourne, December 2019).
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