INJURY-HIT Laura Weightman says she is doing everything possible to be fit enough to compete at this month’s World Championships in Moscow, writes James Willoughby.
The 22-year-old London Olmypian crashed out of the women’s 1500m final during the British Championships in July.
She had to retire from the event, which doubled up as trials for the Worlds, after being caught by another athlete on the penultimate lap.
Despite the fall, the Morpeth Harrier – who had already bagged the qualifying time for Russia – was selected for Team GB, along with other 1500m star Hannah England.
But the runner, who grew up in Lesbury, is now facing a race against time to be ready, with her first-round race scheduled for Sunday, August 11.
“I haven’t got too long, but I am taking it day-by-day and trying to push on as much as I can,” said Weightman, who sustained a small ligament strain and bruising to her left ankle-bone as a result of the fall.
The Olympic finalist, coached by track legend Steve Cram, also needed eight stitches to a spike wound.
She added: “I have sat down with Steve and we have got a plan in place and we know where realistically I need to be.
“I am doing everything I can to be ready and I am hoping to be there.
“I have had a lot of intense treatment with my doctors to get the injury under control and I am doing a lot of rehabilitation and gym work.
“Thankfully there is no significant damage. I am doing okay and I am making progress.”
In what is her first interview with the Herald since that nightmare final at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, Weightman admits that she first feared the injury was even worse.
“I was convinced I had broken my foot. It was that painful,” she said.
The middle-distance star was in the leading pack when she was tripped in the accident-packed final, which also saw former world championship silver medallist, Lisa Dobriskey, pull out.
Not only did the fall leave Weightman’s Moscow hopes hanging by a thread, but it also blew her chances of retaining the UK title she won in 2012.
“It was a whirlwind of emotions,” said the Northumbrian, who was visibly distraught after going down.
“I wanted to defend my title and I was feeling good and I was in the right position at the right time, but then I was caught.”
The injury has forced her to miss out on last week’s Anniversary Games in London.
But while the decision was a tough one to make, she admits it was the correct one.
She said: “I was absolutely gutted I couldn’t compete at the Games but my body was not ready after the fall at the UK Championships and I have got to focus on getting ready for the Worlds.”