Lynsey Sharp runs season's best to stake claim for European vest

Lynsey Sharp will hope for a call from British Athletics selectors tonight after making her case for a ticket to the European Championships with a speedy showing in London yesterday.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 6:30 am
Lynsey Sharp, left, is congratulated by Australias Brittany McGowan at the London Stadium
Lynsey Sharp, left, is congratulated by Australias Brittany McGowan at the London Stadium

The Capital star, 28, ran her quickest time of 2018 to come third in the 800 metres at the Muller Anniversary Games in 1:59.34 as Ce’Aira Brown of the USA claimed victory.

After coming only fifth at the UK trials, a determined bolt down the home straight capped the best possible showing at the best possible time for the 2012 European champion who looks likely to get the nod ahead of rivals Adelle Tracey and Alexandra Bell for the third discretionary spot in the team for Berlin.

And Sharp confessed her late decision to race at the Diamond League meeting was taken with strengthening her hand in mind. “The way it played out, I had to come here and show I was deserving of the third spot,” she said. “Hopefully I’ve done that. I was still hoping to get into Monaco and I was second on the wait list.

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“I would have preferred obviously to get into a really fast race and go with it. And it was a fast race but it didn’t work out. It wasn’t an unofficial run-off here but it was a chance to run off with everyone else to make a case for that third spot.”

Josh Kerr’s chances of landing a 1500m place are all but over after he was a late scratch from the meeting – leaving fellow Scot Neil Gourley to run a personal best that should get him a third spot along side Edinburgh AC duo Chris O’Hare and Jake Wightman.

But O’Hare, who lowered his Scottish record to 3:32.11 in Monaco on Friday, was given a scare when he pulled out mid-race with a back spasm, leaving Olympic champion Matt Centrowitz to claim victory.

After receiving medical treatment, a British Athletics spokesperson said: “He is expected to make a full recovery within a couple of days.”

Wightman followed up his 1500m personal best in Monaco by moving into second place on the all-time Scottish rankings for the 800 metres in coming fifth in a personal best of 1:44.61 in the quickest race since the final at London 2012.

The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, who confirmed he will not double up at the Europeans, will arrive back at an altitude camp in S. Moritz today and he reckons there are more improvements ahead.

“I was disappointed with my Monaco run,” he said. “That might make me sound like a brat because it was a personal best but I felt it was such a good opportunity. I felt I should have been up there with the leaders. But I missed a few days of training last week with a cold. Hopefully I can do it next year and do it justice. Now I want to get fully sharp and get ready for Europeans.”

Two places behind was Guy Learmonth who lowered his personal best to 1:44.73 to sit just behind Wightman in the Scottish standings.

And with third place at the trials in Birmingham, and a showing of peak form, the Lasswade ace will count on 
his recent record to get 
him on the plane to Germany.

“I hope I’ve done enough,” he said. “I’m not sure what I could have done.”

Elsewhere, Paralympic champion Libby Clegg won the T11 200m in 25.29 seconds in preparation for the forthcoming European Para Championships in her first outing with new guide runner Tom Somers.

“He’s only been doing it for two weeks,” she revealed. “It’s great to be back and it gives me a lot of confidence to go forward with now.”