Muir and Weightman all business in pursuit of world glory

Muir and Weightman all business in pursuit of world glory

05 August 2017 / 21:15
Laura Muir is ready to prove herself a big championship performer on the biggest stage of all in London.
Muir is seeking to become only the second Scottish athlete to win an individual world title, 26 years after Liz McColgan struck 10,000m gold in Tokyo.

And she advanced to Monday night's 1500m final - where she'll be joined by team-mate and two-time Olympic finalist Laura Weightman - with a strong semi-final performance that won't help dampen down the growing hype.

Her 4:03.64 run was the second quickest time behind semi-final winner Faith Kipyegon, while former world 800m champion Caster Semenya also proved herself a threat.

"That could have been a final. I just wanted to get through and get myself a spot," said Muir.

"I was surprised how good I felt, I was felt very composed and very comfortable. That semi-final was pretty scrappy, so it was just about staying out of trouble and doing what was needed.

"I've learned a lot from Rio and I'm still learning all the time. I'll talk with my coach about tactics but I'm under no illusions how difficult it's going to be - this is probably the strongest women's 1500m running has ever been."

Muir was quick to label her disappointing Olympics a learning experience. The Scot arrived in Rio as a serious medal contender, having broken Kelly Holmes' British 1500m record in London a few weeks before the Games.

But after taking up the pace and leading after two laps, she saw Kenya's Kipyegon and six other athletes surge past her on the home straight. 

It was a salutary lesson but, then only 23, she could be forgiven for her tactical naivety. And within a few weeks she'd improved her British best and ended the season as only the third British woman to win a Diamond League title.

Meanwhile, Weightman labelled her semi-final run 'the best of her career'.

She said: "That was phenomenal, I knew that race was going to be incredibly tough and to make that final, I was probably going to have to run the race of my life.

"I think I might have just done that there, I’m so delighted with my performance. I don’t think words can summarise what it’s like to be out there. I think I had a smile on my face for the entire race."

GettyImages-826738894Katarina Johnson-Thompson had a difficult day in the heptathlon, starting and finishing with strong performances in the 100m hurdles and 200m.

But she may dwell on a disappointing high jump - when she managed only 1.80m against a personal best of 1.98m - and a below-par 12.47m in the shot.

Heading into the final three events, she sits fourth in the standings. However, she'll need a big display in her javelin, traditionally not a strong event, to force herself into the medal reckoning with the long jump and 800m admittedly better disciplines.

"It was a really mixed day but I'll just have to come back stronger and she where that takes me," she said.

Elsewhere, Beth Potter - whose training is focussed on qualifying for the triathlon at next
year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast - finished the top Brit in the 10,000m final in 32:15.88, which secured 21st position.

Team-mate Charlotte Taylor, in her first major championship, came home six places later while Olympian Jess Martin failed to finish and announced her retirement.

Sportsbeat 2017

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