Laura Weightman expecting a fiercely-contested final

Laura Weightman finishes fourth in her heat of the European Championships 1500m in Zurich.
Laura Weightman finishes fourth in her heat of the European Championships 1500m in Zurich.

Laura Weightman is relishing tonight’s 1500m final at the European Championships, but is predicting a tough race.

The 23-year-old stands a chance of securing a medal in the showpiece event in Zurich, Switzerland, having come comfortably through her heat in 4:10.55 on Tuesday.

But she knows she will have to perform well, competing in what is a high-quality field, including Sifan Hassan, of the Netherlands, and Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi.

The pre-final favourites have both run a 3:57 this season, while Russian Svetlana Karamasheva has dipped under the four-minute mark, albeit that came a few years ago.

Weightman, though, goes into the final as the third-fastest in the field this season, with a 4:00.17 personal best in Paris.

Admittedly, races over this distance are not all about speed, with a game plan and strategy playing just as big a part.

But if the Great Britain runner can combine her good form with the discipline and tactical execution that won her the Commonwealth Games silver medal last month, she has a strong shout for a podium finish.

The level-headed Lesbury runner is determined to keep her expectations in check though.

Speaking to the Gazette after Tuesday’s heat, she said: “I am looking forward to the final, but it’s going to be a tough race with the two very good athletes from Sweden and Netherlands who have both run 3:57 this year.

“I just want to go into the final relaxed and run my race, commit and be as close to the front as possible.

“If I step off the track tonight having given it my all and run my best race, I will be happy.”

The final is scheduled to start at 6.25pm (UK time) and is being shown live on BBC Two.

Visit the Gazette website for the post-race report.