Weightman books her place in World Championship semi-final

Laura Weightman looks comfortable in her heat at the World Championships.
Laura Weightman looks comfortable in her heat at the World Championships.

Laura Weightman tonight secured her place in the semi-finals of the 1500m at the World Championships in London.

She crossed the line in 4.03.50 in heat three of the prestigious race in front of a sell-out crowd at the Olympic stadium.

The Morpeth Harrier, a former pupil at the Duchess’s Community High School, Alnwick, finished in fourth place, meaning she will line up for the semis tomorrow night and hope to book a spot in the final on Monday.

After the race, Laura, 26, said: “I thought for a heat that was a really good relaxed, controlled heat. I felt nice and controlled, I was aware all the time what was happening. I’m looking forward to tomorrow now.

“Tomorrow’s going to be tough but I’m ready for it.”

Women’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe said on BBC TV: “Laura Weightman should have a smile on her face because she ran well. She did just what was needed and nothing more.”

The first six of each of the three heats went through to the semi-finals, along with the six fastest losers.

All four British runners in the heats made it through to the semis. Alongside Laura are Laura Muir, Jess Judd and Sarah McDonald, who got the last of the fastest loser spots.

Laura was in action on the opening night of the IAAF World Championships, a 10-day spectacle of the world’s greatest athletes.

She was back in the stadium where she made her Olympic debut at London 2012.

She is hoping it will be third time lucky – her last two world championships were dogged by bad luck.

In Moscow in 2013,she failed to reach the semi-finals following a season beset by injury. Two years later in Beijing, she was sent home on medical grounds after suffering a concussion after falling afer the finish line in her heat, which stopped her from running in the semis.

Laura went into London 2017 in top form, having last week set a new personal best in an 800m race in Manchester.

She clocked 2.01.87 when finishing second to Pudsey and Bramley’s Alex Bell in the women’s 800m A race at the penultimate BMC Gold Standards Meeting, held at Stretford.

That was nearly a second faster than her previous best time which she posted in June at Chester-le-Street, in the regional BMC event.