Laura books place in Olympic final
Last updated at 11:54, Monday, 13 August 2012
TEARS of frustration soon turned into those of sheer joy as Laura Weightman booked her place in the Olympic 1500m final in dramatic fashion.
Thinking she needed to finish in the top seven in Wednesday’s semi-final to claim one of the fastest losers’ place, there was an anxious wait to see if the Northumberland lass had done enough as she crossed the line at the same time as Slovak Lucia Klocova.
With it too close to call, the big screens in the Olympic Stadium flashed up the message that Laura had finished in eighth and seemingly missed out on her dream of appearing in tonight’s final.
However, on closer inspection, it transpired that, courtesy of a head dip right on the line, she had finished seventh by a thousandth of a second, changing her mood immediately.
Despite all the drama, though, it turned out that eighth would have in fact been good enough after all as their heat was a lot quicker than that of the first one. This meant all three fastest losers came from her semi-final.
Making the showdown, and with a personal best time of four minutes and 2.99 seconds, is a remarkable achievement for the 21-year-old in her first major championships, and she is delighted to be in with a shout of claiming another medal for Great Britain.
The Morpeth Harrier has spent many an hour pounding the running track at Hexham’s Wentworth Leisure Centre due to her involvement with former Olympic silver medallist Steve Cram, and the hard work has paid dividends.
She said: “When I heard the bell, I was in a good place and I just had to go for it and catch Lucia, and I thought I had her on the line.
“It is my dream to be in the Olympics, never mind in your home country and in front of this crowd which is unbelievable.
“It feels absolutely unbelievable to be in the final, and coming down the home straight I just knew I had to dip!
“I recorded a personal best, I am in the Olympic final and now I can’t wait for Friday.”
In tonight’s final, Laura will be confident of a good showing when she lines up alongside fellow Brit Lisa Dobriskey at 8.55pm.
First published at 09:07, Monday, 13 August 2012
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk