Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman clearly showed that she still has what it takes to battle against top class World athletes, when she superbly ran herself into a qualifying fifth place, in her heat of the Women’s 5000m, at the World Athletics Championships in Doha on Wednesday evening (2nd October 2019).
In the slowest, but undoubtably the toughest of the two heats, she went with the pace for all of the twelve and a half gruelling laps, in what was her first attempt at the longer distance on the World stage, and came up trumps by gaining an automatic place in Saturday’s final, producing a time of 15m02.24s, which was only a fraction of a second adrift of her heat winner Tsehay Gemechu of Ethiopia.
Clearly by the form of the leaders of both heats, to get anywhere close to a medal in the forthcoming final, she will need to get under the 15 minute barrier, and somewhat closer to the 14m51.78s, which currently ranks her at No 2 in the UK, behind Dundee’s Eilish McColgan, who also runs in Saturday’s final, after having finished fourth in the other heat in 14m55.79s.
Sadly, Britain will not have three representatives, as Blackburn’s Jessica Judd, after an enterprising start,
finished in eleventh place behind Weightman, posting a disappointing finishing time of 15m51.48s.
It was clear to see after the event that Weightman had engaged in a bloody battle to win he place,
with spike damage to both legs as evidence.
However, she has reported to the correspondent that she is well,
and fully ready to do battle again this Saturday evening at 19.25 UK Time.