COMMONWEALTH GAMES: England out to shine on national service

Hannah England (right) races against teammate Emma Jackson in the 800m final at Delhi 2010. England finished fifth, but is just running her preferred 1,500m distance this time

Hannah England (right) races against teammate Emma Jackson in the 800m final at Delhi 2010. England finished fifth, but is just running her preferred 1,500m distance this time

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

HANNAH England will not take making the final for granted when she competes in the 1,500m at Glasgow.

The Oxford City athlete will be one of the better known names in the field having finished second and fourth in the last two world championships.

But as the 27-year-old prepares to represent England in the heats at Hampden Park on Monday, with the final the following day, she expects some tough competition.

“I feel in good shape for the games and am really looking forward to getting to the village and soaking it all in,” she said.

“The first aim is to qualify for the final, which will be harder than it was in Delhi four years ago, and only then will I start to focus on the final.”

England came fourth in the 1,500m at the Delhi Commonwalths in 2010 and fifth in the 800m final, but has since focused on the metric mile.

She goes into the games as England’s No 2-ranked 1,500m runner behind Laura Weightman, while Scotland’s Laura Muir has also gone faster in 2014.

England’s final race before Glasgow was over 800m in the British Milers’ Club Grand Prix at Oxford’s Iffley Road on Saturday.

She showed her sharpness by defying the wet conditions to win the A race in 2mins 0.50secs – a time that put her fifth in the UK rankings.

“I was really pleased with my race at Iffley Road,” she said.

“I spent a lot of time training there as a teenager and I haven’t raced there since I was at school and it was fun to go back and get a victory.”

England was frustrated to finish third behind Weightman and Muir in the 1,500m at the British Championships.

But she returned to action in her home city of Oxford on Saturday after a strong training period in France.

“I have been training at altitude in Font Romeu for the past three weeks,” she said.

“This is something I have done for the last few years that I feel helps me achieve a little bit more sharpness and speed leading into the championships.

“Running a fast 800m was a great way to finish off this last block of training.”

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