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.