Team GB star Laura Weightman reaches Olympic semi-final

Laura Weightman faces a nervous wait after finishing her heat in seventh.
Laura Weightman faces a nervous wait after finishing her heat in seventh.
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Laura Weightman has qualified as one of the fastest losers for the Olympic 1500m semi-finals, after finishing seventh in her heat.

The 25-year-old Morpeth Harrier, from Lesbury, near Alnwick, crossed the line in a time of 4mins 8.37secs in Heat 2, inside Rio’s Olympic Stadium early this morning UK time.

The top six in each heat qualified automatically, with the six fastest losers taken from all of the heats also going through. Heat 2 was won by Sifan Hassan, in 4:06.64.

Laura faced a nervous wait for the result of the third heat, but immediately after the race, she told the BBC she was hopeful the performance would be enough to put her through to the semis.

"Fingers crossed that should put me through," said Laura. "It was a messy, scrappy race and I made a few silly mistakes."

Before the race, her coach Steve Cram declared her heat the most difficult of the three in his commentary for the BBC. Three of the field had clocked faster times than Laura this season.

Fellow Brit Laura Muir eased into the semi-finals, finishing third in Heat 3 in a time of 4:06.53.

Both Lauras will now compete in the semis (starting Monday, 1.30am GMT), with the aim of making the final (Wednesday, 2.30am GMT). Both races will be shown live on the BBC.

The Games in Brazil are Weightman’s second taste of the Olympics, after she finished 11th in the 1500m final at London 2012.