The meteoric rise of middle distance charge, Linden Hall (Vic), has continued at Round 4 of the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene (USA) this morning, with the 24-year-old clocking a stunning Rio 2016 standard of 4:01.78 in the women’s 1500m.

A personal best by more than three seconds and less than a second shy of the Australian record held by Sarah Jamieson, the result strengthens her claim for Rio 2016 selection and an Olympic Games debut.

“It’s been such an exciting few days. Even just travelling to get here was amazing. The plane was full of so many talented athletes, the hotel has been buzzing, and because this is my first Diamond League meet I’ve just been loving it,” Hall said.

“I had a couple of great runs here during college but coming back for this has been unreal. The positive vibe contributed to it all coming together. The pace to go through 800m was something similar to my PB at that distance so I knew it was going to be quick.

“I can’t put into words what it means if this result will give me a chance to compete at the Olympics. My Mum told me the other day that when we were watching Atlanta in 1996 I said I wanted to compete for medals like the people on TV and it’s probably been at the back of my mind since then. It’s hard to believe that it is now a realistic possibility.”

Hall’s performance moves her to third on the Australian All-Time List behind her fellow Athletics Essendon teammates Jamieson (4:00.93) and Margaret Crowley (4:01.34), with the national record now a mark she believes is within her reach.

“After my 4:04 run a couple of weeks ago people were talking up me breaking the Australian record and I thought they were losing it. I was like, don’t be stupid. I’m stoked to have improved my personal bests as much as I have this year, but with it not too far away now I am starting to see it,” Hall added.

“It would be a club record down at Essendon, too. That probably gets me as excited as the Australian mark.”

The women’s 1500m at the Prefontaine Classic was won by Faith Kipyogen (KEN) in a Kenyan record time of 3:56.41, with Dawit Seyaum (ETH, 3:58.10) and Guduf Tsegay (ETH, 4:00.18) rounding out the top-three. Hall crossed fifth.

She will now return for Flagstaff (USA) for further training at altitude before competition at the Portland Track Festival on 11-12 June.

For more information, including full results, from the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene (USA), please click here.

Australia’s best wheelchair racers have also been among the winners at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil (SUI), with Angela Ballard (NSW) leading the charge. Stopping the clock in times of 16.71, 29.36 and 1:52.96, she took victory in the women’s T53 wheelchair 100m, 200m and 1500m respectively.

Rheed McCracken (Qld) reigned supreme in the T34 wheelchair 100m for athletes with cerebral palsy in a time of 15.41, while Kurt Fearnley (NSW) crossed second in the men’s T54 wheelchair 5000m in 9:59.71.

For more information, including full results, from the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil (SUI), please click here.

In other Australian results on the international athletics circuit this weekend:

–          Regan Lamble (Vic) placed 8th in a time of 1:30:58 in the women’s 20km race walk at the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in La Coruna (ESP). The performance is another Olympic qualifier for the 24-year-old, with Athletics Australia Selectors to confirm their nominations for Rio 2016 in the coming weeks.

–          Competing on her home track in Canberra (ACT), Melissa Breen (ACT) stopped the clock at 11.40 (w: +1.1). The national record holder will now make her way to Townsville (Qld) for competition at the North Queensland All Comers next weekend.

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