By Len Johnson for World Athletics
For a moment off the final bend in the John Landy Mile at the Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne, it looked like teen phenom Cameron Myers might pull off a similar victory over 2022 World 1500m champion Jake Wightman and Stewart McSweyn. Having tracked the big two throughout the race he moved to challenge them. The moment evaporated almost as soon as it had appeared possible.
Myers, not 18 until June, lost no friends though as he chased the older two down the straight to finish third in 3:52.44, an Australian Junior record, and within a stride of the fastest ever run by a 17-year-old, achieved by Jakob Ingebrigtsen (3:52.28 in 2018).
Just ahead of him, McSweyn and Wightman went stride-for-stride to the line. Only in the last 10 meter was it clear that McSweyn would win, albeit by a whisker, 3:52.00 to 3:52.11.
It was a record of sorts. In the now 40-plus years of Melbourne’s annual meeting it has gone through several iterations: the NEC Classic, the Melbourne Track Classic and now, the Maurie Plant Meet. Way back in the day, at the 1991 NEC Classic, Simon Doyle beat Pat Scammell in an earlier John Landy Mile in 3:51.54.
By any name, it was a very good race.