Weightman eyes a big 2015 on the world stage

Track star Laura Weightman is targeting another memorable year as she sets her sights on challenging the best runners in the world.

The 23-year-old shot into the spotlight in 2014 after winning Commonwealth Games silver, followed by European Championships bronze.

The talented 1500m runner is aiming to build on her heroics by not only reaching this summer’s World Championships, but also being competitive on the global stage.

And she insists that last year’s medal haul has given her the ideal platform to take her performance to another level.

Speaking exclusively to the Herald from her warm-weather training camp in Kenya, the Lesbury athlete, who also won the gold at last year’s British Championships, said: “The main goal this summer is the World Championships in Beijing.

“It’s an important Championships and then there is the Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016.

“I really want to be competitive on the world stage and after such an exciting year in 2014 I feel the confidence is there for me to achieve this.”

Weightman, a Morpeth Harrier, has just arrived in Kenya for her five-week training block and is looking forward to putting in some hard miles.

She said: “I love spending time here and it will be a case of eat, sleep, train to develop the endurance base I need for the summer.”

It isn’t the first time that Weightman has attended a winter training block in Kenya and the experience has proved beneficial in previous years.

One of the reasons for Weightman’s incredible rise in the sport has been down to her coach, Steve Cram.

The middle-distance legend was appointed a CBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours list for his recent work as chairman of the English Institute of Sport.

In 1985, he broke world records in the 1500 metres, 2000 metres and the mile.

Paying tribute to her mentor, Weightman said: “It is an incredible honour for him and it really is richly deserved.

“He has given so much time to sport over the years, not just in his athletics carer, but since.

“I am very lucky to be coached by Steve and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”