Race legends revel in Laura Weightman performance

A delighted Laura Weightman. Picture by Michael Gillen.
A delighted Laura Weightman. Picture by Michael Gillen.

Running greats Steve Cram and Paula Radcliffe have praised Laura Weightman after she landed a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Cram, who coaches the Lesbury athlete, spoke of his delight after her performance and paid tribute to her work ethic.

Reflecting on her second-placed finish in the 1500m final at Glasgow’s Hampden Park this evening, he told the BBC: “I am so proud of Laura. There’s a lot of athletes who have so much talent and don’t have to work so hard. But Laura really puts the effort in and is so easy for me to coach from that perspective.”

Weightman was among a high-class field which included Kenya’s much-fancied Hellen Obiri and highly-touted compatriot Faith Kibiegon, who was the race winner.

Cram added: “The two Kenyans are the best in the world, but Laura and me talked about if they have an off day you have to be ready to take that opportunity. Laura is a real scrapper.

“We expected a Kenyan one-two so Laura has exceeded expectation.”

Meanwhile Radcliffe, who is one of Weightman’s idols, was impressed with the Morpeth Harrier’s display, particularly the fight she showed on the last lap to secure a dream spot on the podium.

Radcliffe, the current women’s world record holder in the marathon, told the BBC: “Laura ran out of her skin and she kept digging deep.

“They were queuing up behind her but she didn’t panic, she’s so strong but the strengthening work she’s done showed how much she can fight.

“She ran right through to that line. I am so happy for her because she really deserves that. She hung in there, she knows she was up against two of the best runners around and produced something special.”

After the race, Weightman said that she was over the moon at her medal-winning heroics.