Stewart McSweyn has been qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games for a while now.
He ran the fastest time of 1500m in the world in 2020. And he did it on December 29, right as the year was coming to an end, in a small town in Tasmania.
He has his sights set on much bigger meets, the greatest one of all even, in Tokyo.
Listen to The Inner Sanctum’s own Olympics Podcast, Ascending Olympus.
In what has been a tough year, McSweyn has come out the other side with positives in tow. He’s found lessons, both for life and for university, from the year.
“As athletes, we’re pretty good at adapting,” he said.
“I feel like I’ve been able to handle it pretty well. It’s given me a chance to handle the other things in life. I’ve caught up on a bit of uni over the last year, and it’s set us up well.
“If we can get through COVID as an athlete, I think it will hold us in good stead for Tokyo, and it’s definitely made not only me, but the other athletes stronger as well.”
McSweyn is already a central figure in Australian athletics, previously having broken the Australian 1500m and 3000m records.
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He previously represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games in both the 5000m and the 10,000m events, running in the finals of both events.
Now, he is on his way to his first Olympics, and is excited to be joined in the Australian Olympic team by so many friends and teammates.
“It’s pretty cool, to have 20-odd other athletes here makes it pretty special,” McSweyn said.
“I’ve been on other teams with these guys, but it’s my first Olympics. For a lot of people to reach their dreams, and for me to reach my first Olympics, it’s pretty special.”
McSweyn is excited for the team to come together, despite the fact that athletics is generally considered an individual sport.
“When we get over there, I think it will make a huge difference having familiar faces,” he explained
“Having other amazing athletes around you lifts you as well. We’ve got a good mix in the team, a lot of experience and a lot of fresh faces as well.”
McSweyn has been making an assault on the Australian men’s athletics records, and in the process, has become a leader of the team, and a genuine medal chance for Tokyo 2020.
And as for why you should be paying attention, McSweyn explained in simple terms.
“It’s a pretty exciting time to be an Athletics Australia fan, so I’m hoping we can have some big results come Tokyo.”
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