Photo courtesy of Justin Britton
At 8.05pm on the evening of Thursday 18th May, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman
faced the Starter in her maiden track 5000m event, at the Bill Henry Track, Jack Kemp Stadium, Eagle Rock,
in the City of Angels in California, which she superbly won by a fraction of a second,
posting an excellent 15m08.24s, which ranks currently as No 2 in the UK, behind arch rival Laura Muir,
who ran 14m49.12s, albeit Indoor, in the Glasgow Emirates Arena, in the BMC Championships on 4th January.
Second place went to Colorado born Natosha Rogers,
who clocked 15m08.29s, which for her also represented a personal best.
This win will certainly prove to be a much welcome confidence booster for Weightman,
who becomes 26 in July, and will strengthen her chances of a possible chances of an appearance
at the World Athletics Championships, being held in London in August,
despite her being stripped of funding following last year’s Olympics in Rio.
Weightman has for a long time been a little sceptical of stepping up to the longer distance,
however, this her first attempt at the twelve and a half laps, has paid rich dividends for her,
and she can now sit down with her Coach Steve Cram, to possibly re-navigate her future in the sport,
and seek new targets, in what is still very much a young athletics career.
It remains to be seen whether her rival Muir, will continue to tackle the longer distance,
or whether she will revert back to the 1500m in the hope of gaining more medal success.
Meanwhile Weightman will remain in her American training base over the next few weeks,
before returning to the UK for the Summer trials, in advance of those championships,
in which she hopes to take a major part.