Olympic milestone

Laura Weightman racing in Bydgoszcz in Poland in the XII European Athletic Festival on Sunday, June 3, 2012.
Laura Weightman racing in Bydgoszcz in Poland in the XII European Athletic Festival on Sunday, June 3, 2012.

She has dreamed of being an Olympian ever since she was little. Now, running star Laura Weightman could be about to realise her ambition.

In the space of a week, the talented middle-distance athlete has twice run inside the 1500m Olympic A standard of 4:06.00.

And with the all-important qualifying mark in the bag, it means that if the 20-year-old can finish in the top two at the Aviva 2012 Trials later this month, she will be automatically nominated for selection onto Team GB for this year’s Olympics.

“It is a pretty unbelievable situation to be in to be honest,” said the Lesbury lass, who is coached by Steve Cram MBE.

“To reach the Olympics would be a dream come true, especially this year with it being in this country.”

At the end of last month, Weightman clocked a personal best time of 4:04.88 at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands.

The Morpeth Harrier followed that up at the weekend by grabbing her second fastest ever time of 4:05.88 during the XII European Athletic Festival in Bydgoszcz in Poland.

It bodes well for the trials at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, but she knows it will be a huge challenge.

“I am confident in my fitness and I am in the best shape of my life but it is not going to be an easy race. 1500m in this country is so strong,” she said.

For Laura to find herself in this position is not only testament to her talent, but also to her dedication and resolve.

By her own admission, last season was ‘horrendous’, having battled against injury and other complications.

But hard work over the winter, including training in Kenya, has seen her flourish and put her in contention for an Olympic spot.

From June 22 to 24, more than 750 athletes will go head-to-head in the Midlands for Olympic places. The first two eligible athletes in each event will automatically gain nomination for selection, as long as they hold the current ‘A’ standard, with up to three spots available overall. Athletes successfully selected for Team GB will be announced on Tuesday, July 3.