Athletics has been in the spotlight this week with the official opening of the new Olympic stadium and I was one of the lucky ones to be able to compete in it as BUCS was being used as a test event for the new stadium, so with heats, semis and final, I got to stand on that start line 3 times! Every athlete’s dream! The stadium itself is awesome and the atmosphere over the 4 days was amazing so I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s going to be like when the Olympics come to London in less than 2012 hours!
It was an early start Friday as I travelled down to London from Durham with the rest of the Durham university team: a fun-filled 6 hour coach journey! Thankfully I wasn’t competing until the Saturday so I could just enjoy the events on Friday evening and support the team.
So Saturday was race day and I was feeling ready for it, I won my heat in a modest time of 4.37 to qualify for the semi finals on Sunday where I also won my semi in a comfortable 4.30. But Monday was the big one. I went into the race as an underdog as one of the youngest in the field and having not yet raced on the track this season so there wasn’t really much pressure on me apart from that which I put on myself as I knew I was in good shape and capable of sneaking a medal if it all went right for me on the day. However I never dreamed that it would go so perfect for me! On the start line, the nerves began to creep in: my coaches, all my family and friends had come to support me and I was about to run my first BUCS 1500m final in the Olympic stadium in front of a crowd of around 6,000.
But when the gun went, I forgot all about that and just ran. The pace was fairly slow to start with and I found myself in the lead after 800m with a fairly bunched pack just behind me. At 800m the pace started to wind up a bit and at the bell I was overtaken. There was a sudden increase in pace and it looked like I was starting to drop off but I managed to hang on and was in 2nd place with 200m to go, just starting to close the gap on the leader. The noise was phenomenal on the home straight and with a sudden spurt, I managed to edge past the leader into 1st position with 50m to go to claim the gold medal in a new personal best time of 4.17 which is also just under the qualifying standard for the World Junior Championships which will be held in Barcelona this July.
We’re now 4 days after the event and it still hasn’t quite sunk in that I’m the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Championships) 1500m champion and current Olympic stadium record holder (at least for a while)! So it’s fair to say it’s been a fairly successful opening to my track season!
My performance at the weekend also means that I have had a call up to represent Great Britain in the 1500m at the Loughborough International on the 30th May which will be another very exciting event!
Between now and then, there’ll be plenty of hard training, more revision and I might try and test my speed in an 800m at my county championships. Fingers crossed I can keep this momentum going!
For those of you who want to check out my race, here’s the link
And here are the links to my 2 interviews: