FORMER Nowra Athletics Club talent Jye Edwards is off to the Tokyo Olympic Games, after dominating at this week's Australian Track and Field Championships.
Edwards, who now trains with Dick Telford in Canberra, began his assault on the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre in the preliminary heats of the 1500 metres.
By clocking 3:39.02, two seconds off his personal best he ran last week, Edwards managed to hold off Adam Spencer (Victoria) and Callum Davies (Queensland) who placed second and third respectively, as well as 1500m heavyweights Ryan Gregson (Wollongong) and Jordan Williamsz (Victoria), who all placed within 1.5 seconds of Edwards.
"I'm stoked with the time, and it would have been a personal best if not for my run a few weeks ago," Edwards said.
"Just to be out there competing, it's the best feeling.
"This race just goes to show the quality of men's middle distance running in Australia.
"It's just phenomenal to have so many guys so close."
The Warilla High School alumnus then produced the run of his life in the final, toppling warm favourite Stewart McSwyen (Tasmania) in a breakthrough performance.
McSweyn was forced to do a mountain of work in front before Edwards stole the show on the home straight to stop the clock in 3:33.99.
The time falls comfortably faster than the Olympic qualification standard of 3:35.00, and by taking the national title in the same blow Edwards will be automatically nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for Tokyo.
"It was pretty brutal, I can't really believe it to be honest," he said.
"That was the last thing I expected coming into this championship - I just wanted to race well.
"I just made that split-second decision to go after Stewy and I'm so happy it paid off."
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