ATHLETICS: Hannah sees 1,500m title slip away

Hannah England (background) has no answer to Laura Muir and Laura Weightman as they sprint clear to take the first two positions in the women’s 1,500m final

Hannah England (background) has no answer to Laura Muir and Laura Weightman as they sprint clear to take the first two positions in the women’s 1,500m final

First published in Sport

HANNAH England admits she needs to work on finishing strongly after seeing 1,500m gold escape her grasp at the Sainsbury's British Championships.

The 27-year-old Oxford athlete arrived at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium looking to keep hold of the national title she won in the same arena last year.

But despite being among the front-runners for the majority of the race, England was unable to keep up with Laura Weightman and Laura Muir in the final stages.

Weightman took gold while Muir claimed silver, with England being forced to settle for bronze almost three seconds behind in 4mins 12.37secs.

England can console herself with the fact that a medal was never really in doubt.

But after seeing her national crown go elsewhere, the former World Championships silver medallist knows what needs to be done to ensure lightning doesn’t strike twice.

“It is annoying,” said England, who hopes to compete throughout the Summer Series.

“I have a track history of running really well here and it just didn’t happen for me this year.

“I would have liked to have been with them in the last 150m, but I had no speed. I’m not disheartened, but it’s frustrating.

“It just didn’t happen for me out there.

“They are very strong in the last 300m and that is something I need to work on. Training has been going really well though so I can hopefully improve.”

All is not lost for England this season, however, with both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships fast approaching.

And England is hoping that some national rivalry will help spur her on to a summer to remember.

“To be honest this year is all about the Commonwealth Games and Europeans,” she added.

“I have the European qualifying time already so I am not too worried about the time here in Birmingham, with some strong girls missing like Lisa Dobriskey didn’t help that.

“It is one of the strongest 1500m group we have had for the last few years in Great Britian so hopefully that helps us have some success this summer.”

  •  Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy

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