Mum speaks of pride as daughter makes Olympic debut

Olympic runner Laura Weightman with her mum Diana.

Olympic runner Laura Weightman with her mum Diana.

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The mother of Olympic runner Laura Weightman has spoken of her pride after seeing her daughter make her Games debut.

Proud parent Diana said she ‘welled up’ when the 21-year-old came out onto the track for her 1500m heat on Monday.

Great Britain's Laura Weightman during her 1500meter heat on day ten of the Olympic Games in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 6, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Athletics. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Great Britain's Laura Weightman during her 1500meter heat on day ten of the Olympic Games in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 6, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Athletics. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Cheered on by a passionate crowd, the Lesbury athlete kept her London dream alive by qualifying for the semi-finals.

And her mum, who was in the Olympic Stadium to witness the monumental moment, said it was an occasion the family will never forget.

“It was very emotional. What she has achieved is amazing,” said Diana.

“When Laura came out, I welled up, but I took a few deep breaths and calmed down.”

Laura received a rapturous response from the crowd when her name was read out before the race. She was then cheered every step of what was an unforgettable 1500m – her first taste of the Olympics.

Diana said: “The crowd was amazing. It is something that I have never experienced before.”

Running in the third heat, Laura didn’t disappoint, crossing the line in 4:07.29, finishing in sixth place.

She completed a fine hat-trick for the host nation, with fellow Brits Lisa Dobriskey and Hannah England also coming through their respective heats.

Speaking after the race, Laura said: “I was really pleased to get in to the top six and qualify for the semi-finals.”

Describing her Olympic debut as a ‘brilliant experience’, Laura added: “To have a packed out stadium cheer for you when your name is read out, and then to have them support you all the way throughout the race, was just unbelievable.”

Laura’s efforts on the track were praised by BBC commentator Brendan Foster, who said the Morpeth Harrier, coached by Steve Cram, had ran a ‘brilliant race’.

“This is her first Games, and it certainly won’t be her last.” he added.

The north Northumberland community, and beyond, has also embraced Laura’s Olympic dream. Her Facebook page has been inundated with messages of support, while our website has had hundreds of hits with readers logging on to read stories about her Games journey.

○ Laura has made it through to the 1500m Olympic final, which takes place tomorrow night. To see how see gets on, visit our site, www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk