Ollie’s TV tribute

Ollie’s TV tribute

Oliver Hoare delivers 1500m power run – and a tribute to his old school

Trinity took centre stage on national television when Oliver Hoare powered into the Olympic 1500m semi-finals then told how he caught up with his old classmate Rohan Browning in Tokyo, describing how “awesome” it was for two Trinity old boys to progress so far.

He also paid tribute to Andrew Murphy, the School’s Director of Athletics and Rohan’s coach, for his part in developing the careers of both old mates from the class of 2015, when they were School athletics captain (Rohan) and vice-captain.

“It was awesome to see two Trinity boys in the same year progress the same way,” Oliver told host national broadcaster Channel Seven after finishing third in his heat and qualifying comfortably for Thursday’s semi-finals.

The 24-year-old, based in the US since finishing high school, took great delight in watching Rohan win his 100m heat before bowing out in the semi-finals last weekend.

“I was screaming and jumping when he won that heat. He’s one of the best sprinters in the world,” Oliver said.

“We hadn’t seen each other since high school. I saw him in the village and gave him a big hug.

“Obviously we had masks on but I’ve been wanting to see him for so long.

“His career has been fantastic and Murph’s a credit to that.

“And Murph helped me along with my speed in high school, so it was great to catch up with him, too.”

CAS Athletics Championships. Sport Athletics Schoolboys. SOPAC. 10 September 2015. Photo by Paul Seiser/SPA Images

Oliver thanked his family and friends for encouraging him to pursue his dreams in the US, where he studied economics on a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin before establishing a training base with his coach in Boulder, Colorado.

“I have made a lot of sacrifices to go away but I knew it was right for me to develop and one day represent my country.

“Hopefully those sacrifices are paying off right now and I would like to say thank you to my family for letting me stay in the US and progress,” said Oliver, whose brother Christopher followed him to Trinity and was a national level swimmer.

Back at home, his mum Kate said her phone had not stopped pinging all morning.

“I’ve never had so many messages in my life, and I’ve got 69 emails,” she said.

“I have been beside myself for the past 24 hours.

“We are so proud of him, and the way he speaks. And Trinity got a bit of a wrap, too,” the school teacher said as she attempted to get her mind back on a busy day of remote lessons with her Danebank students.

Oliver, the 10th ranked runner in the world, drew a tough heat that included number one Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya and eighth-ranked Samuel Tefera of Ethiopia.

He controlled the pace early, staying out of trouble and leading at the halfway stage, before dropping back to sixth then surging home to finish third in the 16-man field behind Belgian Ismael Debjani and Chruiyot.

His time of 3m 36.09s was just over three and a half seconds outside his personal best.

“He never seems to run a bad race,” observed Channel Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney.

CAS Cross Country Open Championships. Sport Cross Country Schoolboys. North Ryde Common. 8 August 2015. Photo by Mark Metcalfe/SPA Images

“In the heats you can’t take anything for granted,” Oliver told Seven.

“So I’m just running every race the best I can.

“I knew my heat was going to be hard so I just wanted to make it honest and make sure my fitness would prevail.”

With the top six runners in each heat automatically qualifying, he said:

“My coach and I talked about trying to finish top three.”

Asked about the argie-bargie among runners that can be a feature of the 1500m, he said: “It’s a non-contact sport but there is a bit of contact sometimes. You’ve just got to stay calm and relaxed.”

Oliver, along with fellow Australian Stewart McSweyn, will tackle the 1500m semi-finals on Thursday at 9pm and 9.10pm Sydney time, with spots in Saturday’s final on the line.

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