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Morgan McDonald



Place of Birth




Junior Club

Randwick Botany Harriers

Senior Club

Randwick Botany Harriers


Mick Byrne

Olympic History

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

Career Events

Athletics Men's 5000m


Morgan's Story

A member of one of Australia’s oldest athletics clubs, Randwick Botany Harriers, Morgan McDonald was a leading Australian junior distance runner, competing at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships in the under-20 race.

At the 2014 World Junior Championships in Oregon, he placed 10th in the 5000m in 14:10.08. He remained in the US and headed to college to study business, majoring in finance, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Morgan had good success as a college athlete, setting PBs galore. In his second year, in 2016, he was fifth in the NCAA 5000m with a PB 13:29.79 and within seconds of the Rio Olympic standard.

The next year he failed to qualify for the NCAAs, but by June was down to 13:15.83 (number six Australian all-time) for 5000m, which earned him his first senior Australian team singlet for the world championships. He ran well, placing a very competitive seventh in his heat (13:30.73), missing qualification for the final by two places and half a second. But he respected that his opposition had much faster PBs.

In 2018, the college allowed Morgan to compete in the Commonwealth Games trials in Australia for the 5000m, where on a humid night he featured in one of the great 5000m races in Australian history. Morgan won and went on to place eighth at the Games, but was injured in the process and unable to compete on the track at the NCAAs that season.

In late 2018, his college hosted the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The event is known as one of the toughest events to win, but Morgan did it. He went on to compile an incredible 2019 NCAA season. He won the indoor 3000m and 5000m on consecutive days, then the outdoors 5000m in June, where in a slow tactical race he clocked a 52-second last lap to win against American rival Grant Fisher. He was selected for his second world championships in Doha in 2019, where again he was less than half a second from qualifying for the final.

After a quiet 2020 in the COVID-effected world, in 2021 Morgan set PBs across a range of distance from 3000m to 10,000m, including 13:13.67 at his pet distance of 5000m. He was selected for the Tokyo Olympics, his fourth consecutive national senior team since 2017.

In his two previous global meets (world championships in 2017 and 2019), Morgan had missed qualifying for the final by less than half a second on each occasion.

This theme of near misses continued in Tokyo, with Morgan missing the final by just one place. He was 11th in his heat in 13:37.36.

Living and training at altitude in Boulder Colorado, Morgan was injured through the early part of 2022. Fit again by mid-year, he travelled to Europe and at the very end of the season ran a few good races, including a 3000m PB time of 7:39.05.

Unfortunately, in early January 2023 he reported he had slipped on ice and injured his knee. He would not race until July 22 in Los Angeles. But incredibly, he had accumulated sufficient World Athletics points to qualify for the world championship in the 5000m. In August 2023 he was announced in his third Australian world championships team for Budapest, where he competed in the 5000m heats. A month later he placed seventh in the 5km event at the inaugural World Road Running Championships.

Morgan was in good form in early 2024, including placing second in the national 5000m, where he was out-dipped on the line. In May he clocked a massive seven seconds PB time of 13:00.48, to move to number three Australian all-time and go under the Olympic standard by more than four seconds.

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