Weightman joy after surprise silver

Laura Weightman, right, reacts to her silver

Laura Weightman, right, reacts to her silver

First published in National Sport © by

Laura Weightman was on cloud nine after she gatecrashed an expected Kenyan one-two in the 1500 metres to land her maiden major championship medal on a night of five England silvers at a raucous Hampden Park.

The 23-year-old, who is trained by Steve Cram, was strong enough down the home straight to hold off Canada's Kate van Buskirk and finish second in four minutes 09.24 seconds.

She raised her hands to her head in delight and disbelief as she crossed the line behind Kenyan winner Faith Chepngetich Kibiegon.

There were also podium places for Will Sharman in the 110m hurdles, Laura Samuel in the triple jump, Ashley Bryant in the decathlon and Nicholas Miller in the hammer, but Weightman's was the undoubted highlight.

"It was absolutely incredible out there. I saw so many friends and family on my lap of honour that I didn't even know were going to be here. It was great to see so many familiar faces," she said.

"I am over the moon with that. I can't be any happier."

She became the sixth fastest Briton of all time over the distance by running four mins 00.17secs in Paris earlier this month and added: "It has been a huge summer so far, running four flat and then now getting my first medal.

"For me, medals are the most important thing and I am really pleased that I could just come here and perform and achieve what I wanted to achieve when I set out this season."

Cram said on BBC Sport: "I am so proud of Laura. There're a lot of athletes who have so much talent and don't have to work so hard.

"But Laura really puts the effort in and is so easy for me to coach from that perspective. The two Kenyans are the best in the world, but we talked about if they have an off day you have to be ready to take that opportunity. Laura is a real scrapper."

Hellen Onsando Obiri only managing sixth presented the Morpeth athlete with that chance and she took it with both hands.

There was desperate disappointment for home favourite Laura Muir, though, who stumbled coming into the home straight, lost ground and had no time to recover.

She dropped to her knees after coming home in 11th place, while Hannah England was seventh.

Muir, who is also due to run the 800m, said: "I was in the perfect position with 100m to go, I just got clipped on the heel.

"I felt so strong, I have beaten Laura before, so I thought I definitely could have medalled there, it's just really disappointing."

Will Sharman missed out on the first major title of his career by four hundredths of a second in the 110m hurdles.

The 29-year-old, who also came second four years ago in Delhi, was pipped to the line by Andrew Riley, who took the gold in 13.36.

The classically-trained pianist was in contention coming off the final hurdle, but could not hold off the fast-finishing Jamaican.

The withdrawal of Jamaica's world number one Hansle Parchment through injury left the gold up for grabs, but the Derbyshire sprinter hit the eighth hurdle and the mistake cost him.

"It was good to get a medal. It was a very tough field and it could have gone any way in the medal hunt," the 29-year-old said.

"It was a close race. I made a big mistake by hitting (the hurdle) with my trail leg and that cost me, but that's no disrespect to the winner. He ran a great race and there we are."

If silver had been the least expected of Sharman, the silver won by Laura Samuel in the triple jump was a total shock.

The 23-year-old, who was unknown to all bar hardened athletics fans going into Glasgow 2014, shattered her personal best by launching herself out to 14.09m.

The distance was 34 centimetres greater than her previous best and more than half a metre further than she had jumped this year. It also sent the Leicester athlete up to third on the British all-time list.

Samuel, who finished 12 centimetres behind Jamaica's Kimberly Williams, has never competed before at a major senior championships.

Her distance would not make an impact on the world stage, but the extent of her progression is exciting.

After all, the day after the opening ceremony at London 2012 two years ago, she failed to win at a UK Women's League meeting in Swansea, while on the day of the closing ceremony she competed, and won this time, at a McCain Jumps and Throws Fest in Birmingham.

Samuel, who went out beyond 14m with her second attempt, said: "To get a personal best, the best I've ever jumped, at the Commonwealth Games is amazing."

Asked about her emotions after the second-round jump, she said: "I kind of couldn't believe it. I kept looking up at the board thinking, 'Is that really next to my name?'"

Ashley Bryant finished a gruelling two days of competition with 8,109 points to net decathlon silver, while Miller hurled the hammer 72.99m for his medal, with Scotland's Mark Dry taking bronze.

Comments (1)

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6:41pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Wordywordy says...

I'm surprised that Ashley Bryant is only briefly mentioned at the end of this article. He is from Hampton, went to Hampton Infants and Juniors, then Halliford school, graduated from Brunel last year and still trains there. How about giving this local athlete a higher profile in your coverage?
I'm surprised that Ashley Bryant is only briefly mentioned at the end of this article. He is from Hampton, went to Hampton Infants and Juniors, then Halliford school, graduated from Brunel last year and still trains there. How about giving this local athlete a higher profile in your coverage? Wordywordy
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