Olli Hoare On His Comeback From Injury Before Competing At Australian Nationals

"I think I’m ready for it. I’m excited for it. I have a lot of self-hatred, anger and adrenaline kicking in for this race. "

"I know it’s just the beginning of my season…With this, it’s just about proving where I belong in Australian running and I have to back myself thinking I am in record holder in the event and I should act like it and train like it. I feel like we’ve been training smart and training well over the past few months. I’ve gone from a little confidence to a lot of confidence in about six weeks."

2022 1500m Commonwealth Games champion Olli Hoare unfortunately had to miss last year’s World Championships with a sports hernia and some swelling in the groin area. After some time off and some heavy cross-training, he rejoined his OAC teammates for workouts and will race for the first time this weekend at the Australian National Championships. In this episode of The CITIUS MAG Podcast, we talk about the comeback process, the evolution of OAC and more.

You can listen to the full interview with Olli Hoare on the CITIUS MAG Podcast – available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your shows.

CITIUS MAG: Where are we at in this comeback?

OLLI HOARE: We’re in a good spot. It's interesting because my last race was in Oslo. It was the fastest 1500m of my career – one of the best races of my career. But I was so upset because I knew I was pretty injured. I had this mentality of, ‘Oh. I'll be fine. I can run through anything. I've never been injured in my career.’ And then dealing with a very serious injury definitely gave me a lot of good reflection, but it also showed me different aspects of the team that I'm currently in. A lot of the athletes here have dealt with injuries like that. Hearing about their experiences as well as their support throughout a difficult journey that I just started was very comforting, but I knew it was going to be a challenge. So then getting to where I am now, I did deal with another injury coming back a bit too hard, a bit too fast. My swimming thankfully got me in really good shape, but my legs were not there. I'm in a really good place right now. I'd say like I'm 85%. I would say 85%. 100% for me – and I’m sure for the likes of Yared (Nuguse) and Mario (Garcia Romo) and George (Beamish) – is when you go and go out and you win against the best in the world. So 85% for me is in a good place. Right now I'm definitely in the best possible position going into my Australian champs.

Oliver Hoare after competing at the Oslo Diamond League in 2023Oliver Hoare after competing at the Oslo Diamond League in 2023

Johnny Pace/@pacephoto

CITIUS MAG: Can you describe the Australian men’s 1500m picture right now?

OLLI HOARE: A couple of years ago, if I had run as well as I have – even with that injury, 3:29 Australian record, Commonwealth Games champ and that kind of résumé – I wouldn't really have much pressure on me going into this national championships. Unfortunately, I don't have the standard because that (Oslo) race was two weeks before the window opened. I have a standard for other things, but not for that.

It is also very exciting for our sport. Obviously, we're all selfish and we all want to win and be the best, but you can't deny how great it is for my country’s sport, particularly in the 1500 meter running. It's it's insane.

We have a 17-year-old who's a sensation, breaking all these world records for his age groups and running 3:33. He's an incredible athlete. He reaches out every now and then. He's a fan of the sport.

The 1500m has changed from 3:36 to being kind of quick to not being quick compared to 3:33 3:33 is the new 3:36.

Stewy (McSweyn) is like pretty much my main focus with it. He's a talented athlete and person. When you race against someone that has ticked every box, it's a very challenging thing.

I'm very confident with where I’m at. Not to spoil my head, but I did run through 3:29 on osteitis pubis injury. I felt like there was more for me that season – even if I was dealing with an injury. That gives me confidence that I have the ability to execute races and run fast. I think I'll be as competitive as I possibly can. Dathan and I wouldn't go to the Australian trials and I would probably get an exemption, if I wasn't ready for it because it would just hinder my process for selection. The plan is to go and win it. If we win it, then we go and we run a couple of Diamond Leagues and we cement ourselves back to where I was, which was crazy to think I was a top three average performer in the Diamond League. That is something we want to get back into. But it is going to be tough. It's gonna be challenging. I don't know what to expect.

I've seen them race a lot. I know Jye Edwards is back running well. He made the Olympic team three years ago. Jack Antsey has been running well with Under Armour. There's going to be names that I missed as well.

I think I'm ready for it. I think I'm excited for it. And also, I have a lot of self-hatred and anger and adrenaline kicking in for this race. I know it's just the beginning of my season – regardless of how it goes. Because I know it's not a similar selection process with the U.S.

But with this, it's just about proving where I belong in Australian running. I have to back myself thinking I am the record holder in the event. I should act like it and should train and like it. I feel like we've been training smart and been training well for the past few months. I've gone from little confidence to a lot of confidence in the past probably six weeks. So that's been exciting.

Mac Fleet

Mac, who possesses one of the best runner names of his generation, lived up to the billing as a two-time NCAA 1500m champion and eight-time All-American as an Oregon Duck.

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