Sharp to give rivals a proper battle in Beijing

Lynsey Sharp lies on the track after breaking the two-minute mark
Lynsey Sharp lies on the track after breaking the two-minute mark
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Lynsey Sharp has been held back on a leash for much of this summer but the Capital star has vowed to let loose at next month’s world athletics championships in Beijing and give her 800 metres rivals a run for their money.

The 2012 European champion, 25, broke through the two-minute mark for the second time this summer to come third at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London, claiming a slew of top-notch scalps to finish within reach of Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eunice Sum.

With four weeks to go until her global tilt, Sharp now has just one more tune-up for China left in Stockholm on Thursday night before diving into the final preparations drawn up by Boston-based coach Terrence Mahon.

And the Edinburgh AC ace has given the thumbs-up to his fresh approach despite a few bumps on the road in adjusting to the American’s way of working.

“It was the first race I’ve been happy with tactically,” she said. “It’s taken a few races to get into it but I’m getting there. That’s what Terrence’s programme is all about: peaking at the right time. Chris O’Hare and I are coming into shape nicely. It can be really fast when everyone’s going fast early doors. But you’ve just got to trust you’ll be in the best shape in Beijing which is what it’s all about.”

O’Hare, meanwhile, will sit by the phone at his parents house in West Linton tonight and wait for confirmation that he has been included in the British squad for Beijing.

The European 1500m bronze medallist was tenth in the Emsley Carr Mile – outside the qualifying standard – but hopes his past record earns him the call.

“It’s no secret that I go to championships and perform,” he said. “I’m a championship athlete. I train for them, not for this.”

After winning silver at the European Under-23 Championships in Tallinn earlier this month, Rhona Auckland ruled herself out of a Chinese challenge but she rounded off her season with a personal best in the 5000m to land seventh place.

Recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh, the 22-year-old will begin her next chapter by jetting to the States next week to study and compete at the University of New 
Mexico. But she exited the stage with a run to remember.

“I was really dead after the Europeans,” she said. “I had a hissy fit at the start of last week thinking I wouldn’t be able to run here. But I managed to get my head around it, re-focus and just come out here and enjoy it.”

Paralympic medallist Libby Clegg is targeting a world championship gold in Doha in October after climbing off the treatment table to storm to 200m victory in yesterday’s IPC Grand Prix Final in London.

The partially-sighted sprinter shocked herself with a brilliant run from the outside lane to see off Chinese rival Liu Cuiqing in 25.22 seconds.

“I’ve had a few injuries and only been back training for a week,” she said.

“I feel it will get better as the season goes on. I’ve got a few more races before Doha. Hopefully there’ll be no more injuries.

“We really didn’t know what to expect because Liu had the world lead and she won silver in London two years ago. But I think we’re in good shape.”