Tasmanian athlete Ryan Foster breaks Australian indoor 800m record

Ryan Foster competing

Ryan Foster (right) racing in the US

(300 word version)

Tasmanian athlete Ryan Foster has broken the Australian indoor 800m record, which has stood for 41 years.

Foster won the race at the Penn State National Meet in the United States on the weekend, his time of 1:47.48 four tenths of a second faster than the previous record set by Olympic gold medalist Ralph Doubell in 1968.

Foster said he knew he could do a good time, but predicts he might even be able to go faster.

“The race went nearly perfectly. In hindsight I didn’t press hard enough once [my pacemaker] Kevin stepped off the track,” Foster said.

“I can definitely go faster by working a little harder earlier,” he said.

Foster’s time meets the qualifying standard for the world indoor championships, although it falls outside the qualifying period.

This is the second national record for Foster this year, after he ran 2:19.60 over 1000m in January.

Foster is on a scholarship at Penn State University, and trains under coach John Gondak.

He said his training has been different to that in Tasmania, that he is more relaxed about training now, and has full trust in his coach.

“I do a lot more aerobic work, and less workouts,” Foster said.

“I used to need to write everything down, and then always strive to beat past workouts. Now I just have faith that Gondak is going to get it right,” he said.

“I attribute my performances now to all of the work that I have done over the last seven or eight years,” Foster said.

“I am finally starting to realize the results of the hard work I have been putting in. I think just physically maturing has also helped,” he said.

Foster said he is now aiming for the Commonwealth Games and Olympics.

“Commonwealth Games is a little difficult because the trials fall during my school year, but I am working on a way to be able to return home and run them,” he said.

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