An ecstatic Laura Weightman paid tribute to an ‘incredible’ crowd as she put early season disappointments behind her to win the women’s 1500m at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in London last night.
Morpeth Harrier Laura, from Lesbury, near Alnwick, gritted her teeth to put in a gutsy performance and finish in 4minutes 6.09seconds, holding off the challenge of American pair Gabriele Grunewald (4:06.35) and Katie Mackey (4:06.54).
A trio of athletes were bearing down on Laura in the home straight but she dug deep and kept them at bay.
In her post-race interview on the BBC, Laura, who is ranked 13th in the world, said: “The reception I got from the crowd was incredible and lifted me today and that was the reason I won.”
The impressive victory will go some way to make up for losing her British 1500m title to Scot Laura Muir in Birmingham on July 5, where she nonetheless qualified for this summer’s World Championships.
She said: “That was absolutely incredible. It’s the first time I’ve been here since the Olympics and that really lifted me today.
“When I was getting ready for the this race, I was like, ‘this is my track, this is my race and I want to come out here and perform’.
“It’s been a tricky few races at the start of the season, so I really needed a good, strong one today. I think I just gave myself a boost, I’m really pleased with that.”
Of the crowd’s reception, she said: It’s absolutely amazing. The minute I walked out and stepped onto this track, a big smile came across my face..”
In his commentary on the race, Laura’s coach Steve Cram simply said: “That’s a bit more like it.”