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Canterbury runner Matthew Stonier on fifth at the European Athletics Championships, facing Jakob Ingebrigtsen and running in 'The Champions League' of athletics

Middle-distance runner Matthew Stonier is learning a lot from racing against European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen - as he prepares to challenge him again!

Stonier, 20, earned an impressive fifth place last week in the 1,500m race at the European Athletics Championships in Munich, Germany.

Canterbury runner Matthew Stonier. Picture: Sam Mellish / Team England
Canterbury runner Matthew Stonier. Picture: Sam Mellish / Team England

The former King’s School student came home in 3min35.97sec but he was some way behind Norwegian Ingebrigtsen who won in a championship record 3:32.76.

Stonier, from Sturry, will face Ingebrigtsen today at a Diamond League meeting.

“He’s sensational, it’s always nice to compete against him and see where I’m at,” Stonier said of Ingebrighsen, himself still only 21.

“I’m racing against him again on Friday. It’s another opportunity to see how he races.

“He didn’t win the World Championships this year but he’s the best 1,500m runner.

“I didn’t think I would be at that level this year so that’s a big positive.”

They will face each other again in Lausanne, Switzerland, in what Stonier dubs “the Champions League of athletics”.

Stonier said: “The Diamond League is always a privilege to run in. It’s the Champions League of athletics!

“We have all the big runners competing there - like Jakob and a few other big names - bar Jake Wightman.

“The Diamond League races are always a quick race. So I’m sure it will be very quick and, hopefully, they can get me to a very quick time.”

In Germany, Stonier came fifth after a strong finish.

He reflected: “It was good, I was very pleased with the race and the position. The top three were a league above, especially Jakob who won pretty comfortably.

“The aim was to be in the top eight, obviously the top eight in all events is a final place. From there, any other position was a bonus.

“Time-wise, I was ranked quite high but, actually in the race, it doesn’t always go that way.

“I was very pleased with how I felt and it was my third quickest time.”

On his finish, he added: “A few people have said that I finished quickly!

“I did try to move a little earlier but I got boxed in by two Spaniards - one coming past and one coming back. I didn’t really want to waste unnecessary energy around the bend so I decided to save that for the last lap.

“I don’t think there was much more in the tank.

“On video, it maybe looked like I had a bit left, but it didn’t feel like that in the race.”

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