Guy Learmonth qualifies for European Championships

Learmonth set an indoor personal best of 1:47.38. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Learmonth set an indoor personal best of 1:47.38. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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GUY Learmonth says its job done after he booked his spot at the European Championships with a solid 800m performance at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix.

Learmonth went into the event at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena full of confidence after being crowned national champion in Sheffield last week.

He was able to keep that momentum going as he set an indoor personal best of 1:47.38 and, in the process, hit the qualifying standard for the European Indoors in Prague next month.

And the 22-year-old admits he breathed a huge sigh of relief as he crossed the line and realised he had hit the required time.

“The aim was to get the time, I have done that and I am on my way to Prague, so I am delighted with that,” said Learmonth, who was speaking at the event in Sheffield, which sees Sainsbury’s act as the Major Event Series partner of British Athletics.

“It is an indoor PB for me, so I cannot complain. I am full of confidence, it has been a good start to the year, winning the nationals last week and then running an indoor PB this week.

“I will go away, have a solid couple of weeks and then move on to Prague.

“The whole of my training has been geared towards the European Championships so I had to make sure I get there, because it is fair enough building towards something but I hadn’t qualified for it before today.

“I have done that now, so I can get back to training for a fortnight and get ready to go.”

Elsewhere, Chris O’Hare struggled in the 1500m and finished last while Kirsten McAslan finished third in the 400m.

And in the high jump Allan Smith took victory with a jump of 2.26m – one week after being crowned national champion.

“I wasn’t sure how it was going to go today, I was tired after last weekend’s trials and that did take it out of me,” he said.

“But coming into the warm-up I felt pretty good and it was a ropey opening height, but after that I just pushed on.

“Getting the European height did take some pressure off today, because in the past it has come down to the last weekend to qualify, so it did help to take the pressure of a little bit. It allowed me to go out there and enjoy it today.”

Sainsbury’s is a proud partner of British Athletics. The partnership reflects Sainsbury’s wider commitment to inspiring healthy lifestyles for all, and complements grassroots campaigns such as Active Kids and the Sainsbury’s School Games. www.sainsburys.co.uk

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