Ryan Gregson pipped for world qualifier
By MIKE GANDON
30 Jun, 2011
Wollongong runner Ryan Gregson has taken another positive step in his quest to qualify for the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, Korea, to be held in September.
Gregson secured a close-fought second in 3min36.64sec in the 1500m at the Sollentuna Grand Prix in Stockholm.
Gregson was beaten in the last metre by Kenyan Ismail Kombich with a gap of .03, Kombich running 3.36.61.
This time was Gregson's best since returning from injury in late April.
Englishman Nick McCormick finished third in 3.37, with fellow Australian Collis Birmingham fifth in 3.37.61.
Gregson entered the race with the fastest personal best of the field and a plan to break 3.35 and post an A qualifier, but knew this would depend upon the race pace being spot on over the first 1000m.
Gregson said it was a frustrating race, but again something to learn from.
"I had the best time coming into the race so I went straight in behind the pacemaker," he said.
"We were supposed to be 1:53 through 800m and 2:51 through 1200m.
"We ended up being 1:55 and 2:55. The pacemaker pulled out just before the bell with a lap to go.
"I was in the lead and saw 2:41 on the clock and thought 'I could let someone go around me and settle in for the win, or I could see if I have a 54-second final lap in my legs and get the time.'
"So I took off and tried to run a time but only had a 55-second last lap.
"The Kenyan got the sit and finished harder than me in the last metre.
"Given the slower early pace, it meant I had to try something different, which is a good test.
"I came here to run fast more than just sit and win, so at the bell I thought I would give the time a shot.
"The Kenyan who beat me has a personal best time of 3:33, and has run 3:34 this year, so he is a talented athlete."
Gregson will continue his pursuit of the A qualifier over the next month, with a clear focus being the European Diamond League events in July.