Matt Stonier would love to claim a top-eight finish in tonight’s European Athletics Championships final.
Stonier, from Sturry near Canterbury, qualified from his 1,500m heat on Monday in Munich, Germany.
His debut European Championship appearance comes after the former King’s School student, 21 next month, came seventh at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham amid his rapid rise.
“Top-eight I would be really happy with,” said the Invicta East Kent runner, who studies at Loughborough University.
“Making the top-eight in a major final is the GB standard and that might help with funding, moving forwards.
“With Jakob [Ingebrigtsen, the Norwegian former Olympic gold medallist] in the race, it might be quite quick. So that might help show Birmingham was not a one-off.
“That [success for Stonier] doesn’t necessarily mean going for the win or the podium. Jakob is in his own league but the rest of the field is quite open.
"As long as I can run tactically quite well, hopefully, I will be involved in some way or another.”
Stonier qualified fifth from his heat as he clocked 3min38.37sec. He made his move at the bell and was second coming into the home straight and, although he didn’t quite have the finish, he still booked his final place.
He reflected: “It was a bit of a strange one to be honest, it was the first race off the back of the Commonwealth Games.
“To be brutally honest, it felt a little flat - when you go from 30,000 or 40,000 to 5,000, it does feel very different. But overall, I’m just happy to get through really.”
A hectic schedule - including the World Athletics Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships in quick succession - has clearly been taking its toll on some of the athletes competing.
Stonier said: “For those that have done all three, fair play. It’s a massive achievement! Even just to stay healthy - just going from America to England to Germany - is amazing.
“But at the end of the day, you would always take the opportunity to run at a European Championships. Even if you feel tired, you are always going to give it a go.”
The championships will run until this Sunday which leaves Stonier with three days to explore Munich after his race before he returns to Diamond League action later this month towards the end of a breakthrough summer.
“You have to take it in, being in a famous European city,” he said. “It’s not every day you go into a place like this.
“After Thursday I’ll have another three days to experience the city. There’s a couple of museums and a concentration camp nearby.
"But at the moment, it’s a race focus for me.”