Learmonth focuses on Grand Prix after disappointment at Sheffield

Guy Learmonth

Guy Learmonth

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BERWICK athlete Guy Learmonth will run at the Birmingham Grand Prix event this weekend in a final attempt to impress Great Britain selectors ahead of this month’s European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg.

Learmonth failed to secure a place in the team at the trials in Sheffield on Sunday, finishing third in the 800 metre final in a time of 1.49.3.

Only a top two finish would have guaranteed a spot on the plane to Sweden, and despite being the only runner in the final to have already secured the sub 1.48 European qualifying time, and doggedly keeping the front two runners in his sight, Learmonth couldn’t catch them down the last straight.

Tweeting after the race, Learmonth admitted he was “gutted”, but said he would take positives from coming third at the UK senior championships.

A photo-finish had to establish the winner, with Wale’s Joe Thomas and England’s Muktar Mohammed neck and neck across the line in 1.48.55.

The gold medal eventually went to Thomas - who is making an impressive come-back from injury. Mohammed got silver, with Learmonth having to settle for bronze.

However, neither Thomas nor Mohammed have yet secured the European qualifying time, so it’s still all to play for at Birmingham this weekend.

The only athlete, aside from Learmonth, to currently hold the time is Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie, who pulled out of the weekend’s trials with a niggle. Osagie is expected to contest the 800m in Birmingham, along with Learmonth, Thomas, Mohammed and the returning Michael Rimmer.

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