British wins and PRs in Stockholm

There were two wins for Britain at the Bauhaus Stockholm Diamond League. However, on the day the Scottish National Party launched its manifesto for our upcoming election on  4 July, perhaps I should say two Scottish winners.

First up was Jemma Reekie, who won the 800m in 1:57.79, front-running a 1:57 without being pushed and in windy conditions is quite noteworthy in its own right. She summed up the race: “It was good to run a 1:57 from the front and know I had another one in me. It probably felt too comfortable, so my coach may watch it back and tell me I should have pushed it more. But it is a long season, so there is plenty of time for more. It is a good way to start the season, run consistent 1:57s, and know that there is a bit more in there”. Jemma’s next event is the European Championships in Rome, where she will run in the 1500.

Jemma Reekie, London DL 2023, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

Laura Muir dominated the 1500 to win in 3:57.99 in a race in which the top four went sub-4. Laura said: “I was pleased to get my best season opener last week and another solid performance tonight. I have to bear in mind we are only at the end of May, the start of June, and it is all about August this year. That is when I need to be at my best. To be running what I am now and knowing I have a couple more months of training before the Olympics is very exciting going forward”.

VARIOUS CITIES, POLAND – JUNE 23: Ben Pattison of Team Great Britain competes in the Men’s 800m – Division 1 heats during day four of the European Games 2023 on June 23, 2023, in Various Cities in Poland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images for European Athletics)

There were three British runners in the men’s 800, with Ben Pattison fourth (1:44.44), Elliott Giles sixth (1:45.10), and Jake Wightman eighth (1.45.35). Pattison, bronze medallist in Budapest last year, told me, “I am running with confidence and in the best shape of my life.  I am training to peak in August, but I am already 1 second faster than at the same time last year. There is definitely more pressure on me [because of what I did last year], but pressure is a privilege. The pressure comes from what I did in the past to prove that I am good enough to be at this level”. Giles, who had run a 1500 in Oslo 3 days ago, felt he still had that race in his legs; he also said that he found training to be able to run 8 and 15 in the same week was a challenge”.

Amy Hunt, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

Amy Hunt was third in the 200m in 22.92, running into a -2.0 wind. Amy is one of a group of British sprinters (Adam Gemili, Jeremiah Azu, Darryl Neita) who are based in Italy to work with Marco Airale. She told me afterward: “That was so much fun.  To have Mondo attempting to break the world record just when you are getting ready to run was amazing.  My training group is so good.  We are constantly encouraging each other and lifting each other up. Everyone brings a unique flavor to the group.  Next week, I run in the Europeans in Rome in my second home country”.

Two other Brits ran a PR in the 1500s: Adam Fogg 3:35.50 and Revee Walcott-Nolan (4:00.77).

Renee Walcott Nolan, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics