Major step for Laura

Laura Weightman.
Laura Weightman.

Laura Weightman ran a personal best in her first 1500m race of the season and gave herself a huge chance of sealing spots at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships this summer.

The 22-year-old landed a 4:02.72 PB at the Eugene meet of the Diamond League on Saturday, finishing eighth in the process.

It beat her previous top time of 4:02.99, which the Lesbury athlete set in the semi-finals of the London 2012 Olympics.

Her achievement State-side means that she has grabbed a qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games and is hotly-tipped to be selected for Team GB for the Glasgow-hosted competition, which starts in July. Confirmation of the squad is expected early next week.

Her pb, which currently ranks her the third fastest 1500m woman in Europe this season – behind Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands – is also an A-standard for the European Championships.

It means that if Weightman can seal a top-two finish at this month’s British Championships, in Birmingham, she will be automatically selected for the European Championships, in Zurich, in August.

Laura said: “I was extremely pleased with how I ran in Eugene. It was a great start to the season.

“To run a 4:02.72 PB in the first race of the season shows how far I have come in the past year.”

The Morpeth Harrier came into the Diamond League race, which was a quick-paced affair, on the back of a block of altitude training in Utah.

She said: “I have never raced off altitude before so I wasn’t sure what to expect or how it would work, but it turns out it went very well.”

Weightman finished ahead of fellow Brit, Hannah England, in Eugene, who ran a season’s best of 4:07.40.