Track legends hail Laura the great

Olympic runner Laura Weightman with her mum Diana.
Olympic runner Laura Weightman with her mum Diana.

British middle-distance heroes have praised Laura after she sealed her London 2012 berth.

With four Olympic medals between them, track icons Steve Cram MBE and Dame Kelly Holmes have said they are delighted and proud of the 20-year-old – especially as she was plagued by injury and illness troubles in 2011.

Her stunning form is particularly pleasing for Cram, who has coached Laura for three years, helping mastermind her stunning rise.

“I’m delighted for Laura who thoroughly deserves her place on the Olympic Team,” said Cram, who won 1500m silver at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

“She has worked tremendously hard to achieve her dream and despite some setbacks last year she never doubted her ability.

“Now she can focus on the Games and the thrill of competing in front of a home crowd.

“I am extremely proud of her achievement and we are both excited about the challenge ahead.”

Laura is part of the Aviva On Camp with Kelly mentoring and education programme, which supports young talented middle-distance runners.

She is the first athlete from the scheme – created by Dame Kelly in 2004 – to earn selection for an Olympic Games.

And Holmes, who won 1500m and 800m golds in Athens eight years ago, described Laura’s achievement as ‘fantastic’.

She said: “Laura has matured in her approach, belief and performances and thoroughly deserves selection.

“You never forget your first Olympic Games; it is something really special for any athlete.”