Matthew Centrowitz set to compete in Australia against Oliver Hoare, Jack Rayner


Oliver Hoare, the reigning 1500m Commonwealth Games gold medallist from Australia, is set to do battle with an Olympic champion on home soil.

The USA’s Matthew Centrowitz, the 2016 Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist, will take on Hoare in the John Landy Mile at Melbourne’s Maurie Plant Meet on February 23.

Centrowitz will contest three races in Australia across this month and next: the 800m at the Adelaide Invitational next Saturday, the John Landy Mile in Melbourne and the 3000m at the Sydney Track Classic on March 11.

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The 33-year-old is on the comeback trail after underdoing knee surgery in May last year.

He’ll race in Australia for the first time since 2018, when he competed over 800m in Brisbane and 1500m in Sydney.

“Australia is easily one of my favourite places to train and race. I enjoyed my time there in 2018 and have been looking forward to returning ever since,” Centrowitz said in an Athletics Australia statement.

“It’ll be a perfect atmosphere for me to kick-start my 2023 campaign and get back to competitive racing.

“Australian middle-distance running is better than ever so I hope these blokes will take it easy on me down there.”

Hoare will face Centrowitz in the John Landy Mile five days after running at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, New South Wales.

Centrowitz showcased his tremendous tactical ability in the 2016 Olympics 1500m final, clocking 3:50.00 as he recorded the slowest winning time in the event since the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

He’s also a World Athletics Indoor champion, Diamond League champion and seven-time USA national champion.

He has a mile personal best of 3:49.26 and a 1500m PB of 3:30.40.

The 3000m in Sydney will see Centrowitz square off with Jack Rayner, who holds the Australian 10,000m and 10km road records, and is the reigning national champion over 10,000m.

While Hoare will feature in the mixed 4x2km relay at the World Cross Country Championships, Rayner will run in the 10km in Bathurst.

Centrowitz will join fellow American Fred Kerley at Melbourne’s Maurie Plant Meet, with the reigning 100m world champion set to race against Rohan Browning over 200m.

Andrew Faichney, Athletics Australia’s general manager of high performance, underlined the significance of Centrowitz and Kerley racing in Australia.

“First Kerley, now Centrowitz; two quality athletes that will give our season a huge boost and Australia’s high-performance athletes a bit of extra motivation to leave it all out on the track in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney,” Faichney said.

“Attracting top overseas talent to compete in Australia is also indicative of the growth of our sport and Australia matching the best in the world in athletics.

“Our athletes have been busy in the off-season that’s just gone, and we’re looking forward to seeing some world-class athletics in our backyard.”

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