European place up for grabs in the Midlands

Laura Weightman
Laura Weightman

Laura Weightman is desperate to make amends at this weekend’s Sainsbury’s British Championships after her heartbreaking early exit from the 1500m final last time round.

The 22-year-old is keen to exorcise the demons of 11 months ago when she was caught by another athlete on the penultimate lap and had to retire.

And the Lesbury athlete heads to Birmingham knowing that a place at August’s European Championships is also at stake.

“I am looking forward to the British Championships, especially after the disappointment of last year,” said Weightman, who turns 23 on Tuesday.

“I need to do myself justice and run the race I know I can run. I want to qualify for the European Championships.”

The heats of the women’s 1500m are tomorrow evening, before the final at 6pm on Saturday.

If Weightman can come away from the Midlands in the top-two positions, she will secure a place at the European Championships in Zurich, having already run the qualifying time.

The form book is certainly in her favour. She is currently the fastest UK female 1500m athlete for 2014, having run a 4:02.72 personal best in the Diamond League in May.

This same time ranks her the third quickest female in Europe for the current outdoor season.

Only the Morpeth Harrier, along with Laura Muir and Hannah England, have currently dipped under the UKA (UK Athletics) 4:07.00 A Standard for the European Championships.

But the Steve Cram-coached track star insists she is taking nothing for granted. She said: “I have got to run well. The 1500m is such a strong event with some very good runners.”

Selection for the European Championships would be further success for Weightman, after she was picked to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games, which start next month.