Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman could only finish eleventh in an
emotionally charged top class Olympic Women’s 1500m field
in the early hours of Wednesday morning (17th August) in Rio De Janeiro.
In what was felt to be the best field ever assembled for a Women’s 1500m Final,
Weightman’s only prominent period in the three and three quarter lap event
was when she went to the front after 300m to take early control of what was a fairly sedate pace.
Her period at the front was fairly short lived however as she took the field through 400m in just under 77 seconds.
With two laps remaining Weightman relinquished her reluctant leadership
as fellow GB athlete Laura Muir went to the front.
However even Muir’s lead was short lived, as Ethiopian hope Genzebe Dibaba
made her first moves in a determined quest for glory.
Dibaba took the field through the bell in 3m11s, but now Kenyan favourite
Faith Kipyegon had emerged as serious threat.
Kipyegon eventually passed Dibaba with 200m remaining
and went on to take the Gold Medal in 4m08.92s.
Dibaba held on for the Silver medal in 4m10.27s, just holding off USA’s Jenny Simpson,
who took Bronze, her first Olympic medal, in 4m10.53s.
Meanwhile after a brave effort GB’s Laura Muir eventually finished seventh in 4m12.88s,
with Weightman finishing four places further adrift in 4m14.95s.
Running her third fastest time of the year, and the tenth in her lifetime,
Laura Weightman qualified for her second Olympic Women’s 1500m Final,
in the cauldron of Rio’s Olympic Stadium, in the early hours of Monday morning (15th August).
She posted a finishing time of 4m05.28s to finish fifth in the first of her two heat Semi Final,
and was ninth fastest of the twelve who have made the Final,
which will be run at the early hour of 2.30am on Wednesday 17th August.
Employing totally different tactics from her Round One heat on Saturday Morning,
where she had finished seventh, and had qualified for the Semi’s as a fastest loser,
Weightman went to the front of the field as they went through the first 300m,
which was to prove a very positive move as the race progressed,
and was always prominent leading to the bell.
With 200m remaining Weightman was in sixth place, but drew on all of her
left resources to chase the vital fifth place, and although she was pressured
all of the way to the finish line, she managed to hold on for qualification,
but not without sustaining a horrifying spike injury to her right shin,
which she clearly showed to BBC Interviewer Phil Jones
before departing for much needed medical attention.
During interview, a clearly emotionally charged, and very much in pain Weightman,
said how delighted she was in reaching another Olympic Final,
and was pleased to have been able to run her race to her plan,
and not to the desire of fellow competitors, and was relieved that it had worked out.
Meanwhile Laura’s fellow GB rival Laura Muir also qualified,
finishing third in the marginally faster second heat,
posting a finishing time of 4m04.16s,
which was fourth fastest overall going into the Final.
Laura’s Semi Final was won by Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon,
who remains one of the favourites to watch, along with Genzebe Dibaba,
who was the winner of Muir’s Semi Final.
So it’s all down to the early hour of 2.30am on Wednesday 17th August
to see Laura Weightman’s next action, when we hope she can get close to medals.
Well done Laura
Posting a time of 4m08.37s, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman managed to qualify
for the Semi Finals of the Women’s 1500m at the Rio Olympics
in the early hours of Saturday Morning (13th August) in the Olympic Stadium.
She finished in seventh place in the second of three heats,
however her time saw her go through as a fastest loser,
and she will take her place alongside fellow Brit Laura Muir,
who also qualified automatically from the third heat,
finishing a comfortable third in 4m06.53s.
The Semi Finals will take place at 1.30am on Monday
16th August for those who wish to stay up to view.
Laura Weightman, who is competing in her second Olympics,
having finished ninth in the Women’s 1500m Final in 2012 in London,
hopes to improve on that this time round, when she competes in the same event for Team GB,
along with Scotland’s Laura Muir, who recently broke Kelly Holmes’s British Women’s 1500m record
at the Anniversary Games, held in the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park.
Laura begins her 1500m competition on Friday evening (12th August),
when she lines up in her first round heat.
Time of this event is 20.30 (Brazil Time),
which is 12.30am GMT on Saturday.
If she manages to qualify from this, she will then line-up in a Semi Final,
which is scheduled for Sunday evening at 21.30 (Brazil Time),
which is 1.30am GMT on Monday.
The Final of the Women’s 1500m is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 22.30 (Brazil Time),
which is 2.30am GMT on Wednesday.
Medal Ceremony for this event is 21.05 (Brazil Time) on Wednesday 17th,
which is 1.05am on Thursday 18th.
MORPETH HARRIERS WOULD LIKE TO WISH LAURA ALL THE BEST