Laura Weightman is hoping familiar surroundings can see her take a step closer to strutting her stuff on the world stage this season.
The 21-year-old was named in Great Britain’s squad for this month’s European Team Championships in Gateshead, the only north east competitor to be selected.
Looking to follow on from a dream year in 2012 that saw Weightman reach the 1500m final at the London Olympics, the Morpeth Harrier has already smashed her 3000m personal best this season by 19 seconds when she ran 8:43.46 minutes in Manchester last month.
This is the same event that she will be competing in at the Gateshead International Stadium and Weightman admits that she can’t help but keep one eye on the World Championships in Moscow, even if she is trying to take it one step at a time.
"There's more pressure put on me by me because I want to perform well," said Weightman, who has closed to within 21 seconds of Paula Radcliffe's 3,000m British record.
"I am always like that but I will put myself under more pressure because I want to do well in front of a home crowd and give them something to cheer about. They want a home win and hopefully I can help provide that.
"I take things season by season and look towards the goals I have year on year rather than too far ahead. I do have longer term aspirations but it's the short term I have to really focus on.
“If I can focus on those and not look too far ahead then the pressure other people put on me should not affect me too much.
"One day I want to go forward and get medals and put in good performances on the global stage.
"Right now it is only my second season as a senior international so I just want to build on 2012 and move forward.
“It's nice to hear people say they can see me getting medals, but you can't get too caught up on that. I have to discuss that with my coach, Steve Cram, and what we think is achievable year on year."
© Sportsbeat 2013