A determined Laura Weightman insists she is fighting fit and ready to go ahead of the upcoming World Championships in Beijing.
The prestigious event has been the Lesbury star’s main focus this season and she believes she is in good shape to compete against the best 1500m runners from around the globe.
While the 24-year-old race ace admits it will be a big test, she feels that things are coming together for her just at the right time.
Looking ahead to the Championships, which start on Saturday, she said: “I am really looking forward to the Worlds. It has been a tough season, but I have worked really hard this year and I feel ready to race now.
“I am excited to get out there in the Beijing National Stadium.
“I know it is going to be a very tough championships because the 1500m is one of the strongest track events at the moment.
“My preparations have gone well and I am rounding into good shape at the right time. The main first goal is to get through the rounds and make the final and then anything can happen.”
Weightman heads into the Worlds on the back of an altitude training block in Japan.
The Morpeth Harrier said: “The block has gone well. I have put in some big sessions and I am feeling ready to go.
“It was a beautiful and quiet place to do my final preparation – I could just relax and train, so I arrived in Beijing physically and mentally prepared.”
Weightman gave a statement of intent with a morale-boosting victory at London’s Olympic Stadium during the Anniversary Games last month.
It was her first time back at the venue since her exploits at the Olympic Games in 2012, which saw her grab a-then-personal best in the semis and an 11th-place finish in the final.
She believes that her gutsy victory in the capital was an indication that she is finding her form at the right time.
Weightman, who is coached by middle-distance legend Steve Cram, said: “Winning in London was a massive boost. It was great to win back in the Olympic stadium and give me the belief that things are coming together at the right time and I can take those memories with me into Beijing to know that I can do it.”
It was a big win for the Northumberland runner, who endured a tough start to the summer season, including surrendering her British title to rival Laura Muir in July – albeit Weightman’s second-place finish was enough to secure her place at the Worlds.
Weightman said: “Early season races didn’t go to plan as much as I would have liked, but it was all part of the plan that Steve put in place to make sure I was at my best for the championships, not the early season races as it is a long season.
“I feel with every week I have been moving closer to where I need to be for the World Championships. The London Anniversary Games showed that and then a good block of training in Japan has given me the confidence to go into the championships ready.”
Weightman came into 2015 on the back of her most successful season, winning silver at the Commonwealth Games, followed by a bronze at the European Championships.
She admits that her medal-winning heroics of last year has brought about a certain expectation, but believes it also shows that she can perform on the big occasions.
She said: “After a very successful 2014 season, there is always pressure to perform again, but that mostly comes from myself.
“I have high expectations and want to keep performing at a high level. It’s important to remind myself that I can’t always race every race at my best, but what I do know is I am a championships performer and when I get on the start line I am ready, I will never give up and I will always fight.”
The women’s 1500m heats are on the opening day of the championships (4.15am BST), followed by the semi-final on Sunday (1.45pm BST) and the final on Tuesday (1.35pm BST).
The BBC has coverage of the Worlds and follow Weightman’s progress on the Gazette’s website.