Wentworth training pays off for Laura
Last updated at 13:16, Monday, 09 July 2012
THIS summer Laura Weightman will be swapping the running track at Hexham’s Wentworth Leisure Centre for the one at the Olympic Stadium.
Although a Morpeth Harrier who lives in Alnwick, the 21-year-old heads to the Tyne Valley track to do her summer training under the guidance of Tynedale resident, and former Olympic silver medallist, Steve Cram.
After qualifying for London 2012 recently with a gold medal in the 1,500m in the Aviva Olympics Trials in Birmingham, Weightman is looking forward to pounding the Wentworth track a few more times before her big date under the world spotlight.
This week, the talented runner was in Hexham with Cram to go through a training session ahead of her official Team GB Athletics confirmation.
She said: “In the summer, Wentworth is my main track and it is the one I prefer training on it.
“It is just a small track, it’s not very busy and the track is soft so it is really good for training on.
“A few months ago, I knew I had an outside chance of making the GB team but I wasn’t sure I could make it.
“So it is dead exciting to know I am going to the Olympics and what I am looking forward to the most is putting the kit on and racing.”
With the Olympics – her first major championships – just a matter of weeks away, Weightman’s excitement at appearing at the home Olympics is unsurprisingly sky high.
And Hexham can take a slice of the credit as she was training at the Wentworth at the precise moment when the official Olympic Torch passed through the town.
Witnessing the large crowds and their excitement for the flame, she was spurred on even further to claim an Olympic place.
She said: “I have known the Olympics have been approaching but I wasn’t aware of how close it was until the torch arrived and it was quite exciting to see it pass through the Wentworth car park.
“Seeing how excited everybody was showed that the Olympics is being backed by the whole country and I am pleased to be part of it all. I have had a tremendous amount of supportive messages, flowers and cards from the people of North-East wishing me luck and it is nice that everybody is getting behind the local athletes.”
Working with Weightman since 2009, Cram has been delighted with Weightman’s progress and he hopes she can achieve her goal of making the final of the 1,500m.
Cram, who appeared at the Olympic Games in 1980, 1984 and 1988, also admitted to harbouring a little bit of jealousy about her appearing in front of the London crowds!
He said: “I’m delighted for Laura who thoroughly deserves her place on the Olympic team.
“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.”
First published at 09:09, Monday, 09 July 2012
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk