Preston Harrier Patrick Dever has set his sights on an Olympic call-up

Patrick Dever admits his heart will skip a beat every time the phone rings over the next day or two.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:08 pm

The Preston Harrier will likely find out later this week as to whether he has earned a place at this summer’s Olympics.

The 24-year-old rates his chances of earning a seat on the Team GB plane to Tokyo and representing his country in the 10,000m as a “seven out of 10”.

Not bad odds considering at the start of this season, he would hardly have been mentioned in the conversation among the national selectors.

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Patrick Dever wins the 5,000m at the UK Championships
Patrick Dever wins the 5,000m at the UK Championships

The fact that he is a strong possibility to go is because of a remarkable few months of results which have catapulted his name to the top of the list of long-distance runners in this country.

After spending the past two years in the USA, Dever served notice of his abilities earlier this month when he won the NCAA Division One 10,000m title in a championship record and personal best time of 27:41.87.

The mark placed him second in Britain for the distance in 2021 and just 13 seconds off the Olympic qualifying standard. Just a couple of days later, he was in action again when he came second in the 5,000m where he was placed sixth in another PB time of 13:19.85, again placing him second in Britain this year and just six seconds short of the Olympic standard.

Those achievements certainly made headline news on these shores and he illustrated perfectly last weekend at the UK Championships in Manchester that it was no fluke by winning the 5,000m in a time of 13:37:30.

Although his times have been narrowly outside the qualifying standard, there is a route to the Olympics through the world rankings and now Dever is waiting to see if he gets the nod.

“There is another way of getting into the Olympics through the world ranking system,” Dever said. “It’s kind of complicated and I don’t completely understand it myself but basically different races are graded differently.

“You get a certain amount of points for a time at a particular race and if it’s a high graded meet, you will get bonus points.

“Because I was able to win the UK Championships, I will get bonus points and I got bonus points for winning the NCAAs. So it’s a case of fingers crossed. My phone will definitely be nearby and switched on over the next few days.”

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