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Gregson third in 1500m in Rome

  • Gregson third in 1500m in Rome

    Ryan Gregson has claimed an impressive podium finish in the 1500m at the Diamond League meet in Rome

Australian Ryan Gregson has taken another big stride forward in his buildup to the Rio Olympics with a flying third-placed finish in the 1500m at the Diamond League meet in Rome.

Gregson led the pack at the final turn into the main straight, but was eventually overtaken by Kenyans Elijah Manangoi and Robert Biwott.

The 26-year-old Australian's time of three minutes 34.27 seconds was his fastest in four years.

With the Rio Games little more than two months away, the in-form Gregson is well-placed to become the first Australian man in 40 years to contest an Olympic 1500m final.

"My confidence is building, but I also know there's still a long way to go until the Olympics and they don't hand out medals in June," Gregson said.

"I certainly feel like I belong among good company now.

"I always believed I was capable of results like this if I was able to get an uninterrupted preparation under my belt.

"My goal has always been to make the Olympic 1500m final."

World championships silver medallist Fabrice Lapierre claimed a third straight Diamond League podium spot in the men's long jump.

Lapierre's best jump of 8.18m was 13cm shy of the winning effort from reigning Olympic campion Greg Rutherford from Britain.

Australian Benn Harradine (61.64m) was seventh in a men's discus competition won by Poland's Robert Urbanek (65.00m).

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