Laura Weightman believes she is in the form of her life as she targets a medal at the Commonwealth Games.
And the British women’s 1500m champion from Lesbury admits she can’t wait to get started at the showpiece event in Glasgow.
The determined 23-year-old will line up for the heat on Monday afternoon, with the aim of reaching Tuesday evening’s final and possibly a medal.
She said: “I am really excited about competing. I am in good shape and I have had some good races going into the championships, which gives me confidence.
“I have to be realistic about my goals but I would like to go there and target a medal in the final. That thought has been pushing me on.”
Weightman goes to the Games on the back of some impressive performances of late, including a 4:00.17 PB in a high-quality Diamond League field in Paris, and a gold medal at the British Championships.
She says she owes a lot to her coach Steve Cram, who won World, European and Commonwealth 1500m titles, as well as Olympic silver.
“I am very lucky to have him by my side. He makes me feel relaxed and he has helped me make the improvements that I have made,” she said.
Her first round is scheduled for between 12.20pm and 12.35pm. The final is set to start at 9.50pm. The BBC has extensive coverage of the Games. Follow her progress on the Gazette webste.
Meanwhile, the humbled star has praised the ‘incredible support’ of Gazette readers who are displaying special posters to back her at the Commonwealth Games.
Recently, we produced a commemorative Go Laura poster and encouraged people to pin it up in shops and houses to get behind her in Glasgow.
Many have duly obliged, including two of the middle-distance runner’s biggest fans – her grandparents.
Writing on her official Facebook page, Weightman said: “Incredible support in Northumberland ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
“The Northumberland Gazette making a support poster.” The post, which features the picture of her grandparents with the poster in their window, has attracted more than 300 likes and prompted many messages of support.
Among them, Rebecca Gillon wrote: “We are putting the poster in our window too Laura. Can’t wait to see you run in Glasgow.”
Mary Harrison added: “Good luck Laura. Very proud of everything you’ve achieved! X”
Alnwick Town FC also left a message of support for her, while Claire Ford-Hutchinson wrote: “Very proud and glad to know you. Good luck in Glasgow x”
The Games started yesterday.