Guy Learmonth has been left praying for a late vacancy in the line-up for Sunday’s Muller Anniversary Games in London but the Lasswade 800m ace insists his World Championships aspirations won’t be dead in the water if he misses out.
The 25-year-old, who is first on the wait-list for a lane, is now on the clock to earn the British qualifying standard by the deadline of July 23 – a feat that would automatically see him into the UK team for the showpiece after taking silver at last weekend’s trials in Birmingham.
It would require the UK indoor champion to knock almost a second off his lifetime best but, with several months of back problems now behind him, Learmonth believes a place in a world-class field in London that will definitely include Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos and world silver medallist Adam Kszczot can push him to the brink. I’ve felt in shape for a long time but I’ve been under the radar,” he revealed. “I’ve been having loads of back problems that arose during the indoor season.
“It’s not been as smooth as I’ve liked. But the training sessions have been brilliant. It’s about staying in one piece. Hopefully, I get the start in London and get the time but if not, I’ve got a few weeks to go crazy and race everywhere until I get it.”
Other options will be open to Learmonth over the next fortnight including IAAF Challenge events in Switzerland and Madrid to join the already-qualified Elliot Giles in the 800m in London next month. “I badly want to get to a worlds, especially after missing the Olympics last year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Capital prospect Josh Kerr will make his Diamond League debut at the Anniversary Games after being added to the field for the 1500m where he is set to join Edinburgh AC club-mate Chris O’Hare and Mo Farah. Jake Wightman has switched to the 800m for the Stratford extravaganza, avoiding any run-off with his rivals for the third place in the British team for the Worlds after finishing behind O’Hare and Kerr at the trials.