Stewart McSweyn has put in a brave display of front-running, only to come up short in his bid to better 2005 world championships bronze medallist Craig Mottram's longstanding Australian 5000m record.
Competing at the Box Hill Burn meet in Melbourne on Tuesday night, McSweyn - who already holds the national 1500m and 3000m marks - had Mottram's 17-year-old mark of 12 minutes 55.76 seconds firmly in his sights.
The 25-year-old from King Island was within a couple of seconds of the required speed for much of the race, before fading slightly in the last few laps after pacemaker and training partner Jordan Williamsz stepped off the track.
McSweyn was still able to clock an impressive winning time of 13:05.87, less than a second outside his PB and well under the Olympic qualification standard.
The versatile McSweyn has multiple options for the rescheduled 2021 Tokyo Games, having previously also dipped under the qualifying marks for the 1500m and 10,000m.
Fast-finishing Izzi Batt-Doyle came within 1.07 seconds of bettering the Olympic qualifying mark of 15:10.00 in the women's 5000m.
Batt-Doyle took up the running when national 10,000m champ Rose Davies pulled out with five laps to go.
The 25-year-old Batt-Doyle went on to clock a winning time of 15:11.07, stripping 15 seconds off her personal best in the process.
Linden Hall smashed the Australian and Oceania records in the non-championship women's 1000m.
Hall clocked 2:35.90 and 15-year-old runner-up Claudia Hollingsworth (2:36.72) also went under the old national mark of 2:37.80 set by Brittany Kaan.
Rio Olympian Peter Bol won the men's 1000m in 2:18.79.
Australian Associated Press