Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
ATHLETICS: Loren Holmes in on personal best
3:00pm Saturday 21st July 2012 in Sport News
LOREN Bleaken will go into the British Schools’ Championships in Ashford this weekend with her confidence sky-high.
The 16-year-old Hardenhuish School student followed up her success in the English Schools’ Championships in Gateshead with a sparkling personal best in the 800m at Crystal Palace last weekend after receiving a late call-up to compete in the On Camp With Kelly event, which was part of the Aviva London Grand Prix meeting.
In a top class field of leading young British runners Bleaken finished ninth in a time of 2mins 06.46secs to clip 0.29secs off her previous best – and then got the chance to see some of the best athletes in the world as they fine-tuned their preparations for the Olympics.
“It was an amazing experience as the stadium was full with around 20,000 spectators and when we walked out for our race the announcer was getting the crowd to shout and cheer us on,” said Bleaken.
“Dame Kelly Holmes gave us all a talk before the race and when I was warming up I saw sprinters Mark Lewis-Francis and the top Frenchman Christoph Lemaitre (European 200m champion). It was so weird to see them close up.
“While I was a little nervous I was really happy to run a personal best. There were a lot of girls faster than me in the race so I knew that if I stuck with them I would run a good time. I’m very happy with how it went.”
Afterwards Bleaken joined Holmes and some of the other girls in watching an afternoon of top class athletics.
“It was a real treat and I really enjoyed myself,” added Bleaken.
“Next I’ll be racing in Ashford on Saturday and hopefully I can add another title to my collection.”
Dame Kelly Holmes said: “It was a great race for all the girls to be involved in, very competitive. The pace was set nicely and all the girls had an objective, especially those who have had issues or injuries. The best thing is they have all come away smiling and some with personal bests.”