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Matthews in frame for Rio 1500m

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/05/2016
Julian Matthews of New Zealand reacts after competing in the Men's 1500 metres semi-final during day seven of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 28, 2015 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) © Andy Lyons/Getty Images Julian Matthews of New Zealand reacts after competing in the Men's 1500 metres semi-final during day seven of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 28, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Middle distance runner Julian Matthews has put himself in line for the Rio Olympics after producing a personal-best performance over 1500 metres in the United States.

Matthews clocked three minutes 36.14 seconds in finishing second in a meeting at Swarthmore, near Philadelphia, trimming 1.13sec of his previous fastest time.

He also went under the Rio 2016 IAAF standard and NZ A nomination standard of 3:36.20.

A 1500m finalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Matthews can now be expected to be nominated for Rio ahead of the next selection announcement in July.

Hamish Carson also improved his chances of going to the Olympics by clocking 3:36.25 in finishing third and shaving 1.79s off his previous best.

The time was just outside the NZ A standard, but comfortably under the NZ B standard of 3:37.20.

To get to Rio, Carson will have to go under the IAAF standard or to wait to see if he gets an invitation from the IAAF and has his nomination confirmed by the NZOC.

The third New Zealander in the race, Eric Speakman, was sixth in 3:37.85, smashing his previous best by 2.41s.

The three New Zealanders have been training in Arizona and Michigan with Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis, who has already been selected for the Rio Games in August.

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