On Sunday 30th June 2019, on the eve of her 28th Birthday, in what was her first official track outing of the current domestic season, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman ran her way into the record books, when finishing fifth in a star studded Women’s 3000m, at the annual Prefontaine Classic, which is part of the IAAF Diamond League programme.
The event, is traditionally held at Eugene in Oregon, USA on Heywards Field, however on this occasion, due to renovation works being carried out, had to be transferred to Cobb Track and Angell Field in Stanford University in California, which meant a little rerouting was required in order to compete.
Undeterred, Weightman who has been using the USA as a training base for a few weeks, set about the task in hand, and not only recorded the fastest time by a British Woman this year, with her excellent posting of 8m26.07s, bettered her own personal best by nearly twenty seconds to that achieved nearly six years ago in the Trafford Grand Prix.
It also now makes her second in the all time British Rankings behind Paula Radcliffe,
who achieved figures of 8m22.20s in Monte Carlo in 2002.
Weightman also moves slightly ahead of fellow International Laura Muir, who achieved
a best for the distance of 8m26.41s, in 2017 at the IAAF World Indoor Tour Meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany,
and the Morpeth International is now ranked also 27th in the World Rankings, following Sunday’s performance,
in a superbly talented race that was won by Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, in a time of 8m18.49s,
with second place going to Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen (8m20.07s),
with third place going to Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey (8m20.27s),
all three athletes achieving new personal bests, as did the fourth placed athlete,
the very familiar Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, who posted a time of 8m21.29s.
This left a small gap to Weightman, who finished just ahead of a most formidable
opponent in Kenya’s Helen Obiri, the current Women’s World 5000m Champion.