Coach Nic Bideau believes Stewart McSweyn is good enough to medal at next year's Olympics after the King Island star broke new ground at a Diamond League meet in Rome.
McSweyn shaved more than four seconds off Craig Mottram's Australian 3000m record - and nearly seven seconds off his own personal best - with a 7:28.02 effort that clocked in at 17th on the all-time record list.
After leading for much of the race, McSweyn was edged in the final lap by Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo (7:26.64) and Norway's Jakob Ingebritsen (7:27.05).
Bideau, who also coached Mottram, said McSweyn had been improving year on year.
"Stewy's been training with us since 2016 ... he was a world championship finalist last year and now he looks like he's right up there in competition with the very best guys in the world," Bideau said.
"Those guys that beat him [Thursday] night, they're the best two runners in the world this year and Stewy's in the contest with them - hopefully next year he takes another step forward and he's in the competition for the medals at the Olympics.
"He's got to do it yet, but it looks like he's good enough to make the final and be in the competition for the medals and maybe even for the win."
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The record-breaking run came just days after a scintillating 1500m win in Croatia, where McSweyn fell narrowly short of adding the national 1500m benchmark to his resume.
Bideau said that as well as gaining fitness and strength, McSweyn was learning how to outrun his competitors.
"He's obviously got some great tools - he can run 60-second laps very easily and he can run seven and a half of them in a row, but it's just about using what he's got and learning how to compete and be a better competitor," Bideau said.
"Last year he might have been a bit reluctant to go to the front like he did [Thursday] night and try to run these guys into the ground, but the two races he's won this year that's exactly how he's won them.
"He's got the confidence to do that now - ok, two guys got past him in the last lap, but he flogged everyone else in the race."
McSweyn's next race is a 1500m in Qatar next Friday.