IT has been a long time coming but for India Ibbotson there can be no disguising the delight at finally breaking her personal best over 800m.

The 18-year-old runner from Chippenham finally ended a five-year wait to beat her long-standing best of 2mins 24.17secs when she won the U20 women’s A race at the latest National Young Athletes League Upper Midlands B match.

Ibbotson won in 2:22.9, and now buoyed by that success is already targeting another big improvement to duck under the barrier of 2mins 20secs for the first time.

“I have been waiting to beat that PB for five years and I am very happy,” said Ibbotson, a former student at Hardenhuish School. “I was not expecting it all. I did an 800m a few months ago (May 23rd) and ran 2:29 so I thought I might get a season’s best but I had a really good session the Thursday before and felt really good. Nonetheless, I was surprised to run so fast.”

Much of the reason behind Ibbotson’s long wait to beat that best was a loss of form due to anaemia, though the explanation behind her lack of energy wasn’t diagnosed initially.

Since correcting that deficiency, she has gradually built up her strength and now working with new coach Chris Maxwell, who is also based in Chippenham, has started to show the form that she undoubtedly always had.

“I have stuck at it and it has paid off in the end!” added Ibbotson.

With further 800m races lined up Ibbotson’s persistence may yet elicit yet further improvements before the season is over.

Meanwhile, Bradford-on-Avon athlete Dominic Murray was also representing Team Avon – which is a composite team drawn from Bristol & West AC, Team Bath and Yate & District AC - at the meeting and he also produced a personal best.

High jumper Murray smashed his previous best of 1.81m by a huge 8cms as he cleared 1.89m to go second on the South West Rankings for U17 men.

Murray clearly likes the high jump set-up at Yate as that was the third time this summer he has bettered his PB at the venue.

Starting the season on 1.70m he leapt to 1.77, at the end of May and then added a further four centimetres when winning the YDL meeting on June 27th.

Just breaking 1.80m would have been reason enough to declare the season a successful one but to now be on the cusp of 1.90m signifies that Murray is enjoying the best season of his young life.