Athletics: Learmonth to whirl in Vienna

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Lasswade’s outstanding 800 metres prospect Guy Learmonth will race against a top-class field in an indoor invitation meeting in Vienna tonight.

The 19-year-old Loughborough University student is chasing the World Indoor Championships qualifying time of 1:48.00, which is half a second better than his personal best.

But his Eyemouth coach Henry Gray is confident that Learmonth can achieve the mark either tonight or in the UK Trials at Sheffield next month.

“Guy’s in great shape and his recent training sessions certainly indicate he can do it with the right opposition.”

Tonight’s field looks ideal with Giordano Benedetti (Italy) who has a best of 1:46.32, being joined by Leroy Brice (France), whose best is 1:47.43, and two of Learmonth’s rivals from the European Junior Championships in Estonia last July, Halit Kilic (Turkey), who was fourth in Tallinn, and Miroslav Burian (Czech Republic) who was fifth.

“The field looks brilliant - I just can’t wait,” said Learmonth.

English rival Joe Thomas has already achieved the Istanbul qualifying standard with his win for Great Britain in 1:47.32 in the Aviva Indoor International in Glasgow on Saturday.