Despite feeling a little unwell over recent days, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman, still managed to pull out all the stops to claim a superb Commonwealth Games bronze medal for England in the Women’s 5000m.
Weightman finished third in the final day of track-and-field activity at the 25,000 capacity Carrara Stadium, on the Australian Gold Coast, on Saturday.
She waited until the final two laps of the 12.5 lap event, which she was running for the first time at international level, before sensing her opportunity of gaining a possible second Commonwealth medal, her first being the silver that she won in the 1500m in Glasgow in 2014.
She chased down Australia’s Celia Sullohern, who was then lying in fourth place, having shaken off fellow Brit Eilish McColgan, running for Scotland, and Kenya’s Eva Cherono.
Cherono’s Kenyan team-mates Helen Obiri, the World Champion, and Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, had already drawn clear of the rest, and were having their own independent battle for the gold and silver medals.
With just under 300m remaining, in a soaring 25 degrees, Weightman passed a hopeful medal opponent Juliet Checkwel of Uganda, to run on to claim a well-earned bronze behind Obiri and Kipkemboi, posting a finishing time of 15m25.84s, 12 seconds adrift of the winner.
In the end, an exhausted yet joyful Weightman concluded that she had judged her tactics perfectly, and was delighted to take her bronze medal, her third on the world stage, and thanked her coach Steve Cram, who was endeavouring to remain perfectly calm in his BBC commentary role.
Fellow Brits, McColgan, Wales’s Melissa Courtney, a medallist over 1500m, Northern Ireland’s Emma Mitchell, and Steph Twell, also of Scotland, finished in sixth, ninth, 13th and 14th places respectively.
Later Weightman said: “I’m asking myself the question of why I chose the 5000m instead of the 1500m with the pain I’m in now, but I’m pleased to have won a medal.”