ATHLETICS: England's relishing 800m challenge

Hannah England

Hannah England

First published in Sport

HANNAH England would love to make tomorrow’s foray in the 800m a regular event, writes STUART WEIR.

The Oxford City athlete competes in the two-lap race at 4.19pm in a field that includes world and Commonwealth champion Eunice Sum (Kenya).

England’s stock distance has been the 1,500m in recent seasons, with her best performance a world silver medal in 2011.

But the 27-year-old, who ran 2mins 0.50secs for 800m at Iffley Road last month, would consider going for a middle-distance double in future campaigns.

“I would always love the opportunity to run an 800 at a championship,” she said.

“This year I could not have done 800 and 1,500 in Glasgow (Commonwealth Games) without being too tired coming into the Europeans.

“And I wanted to do well at both events.”

England’s Iffley Road time would have been good enough for silver at the Commonwealth Games.

But she said: “Don’t forget that you have to think about qualifying.

“While the time I ran at Iffley Road would have been good in Glasgow, to have qualified for the games, I would have needed to have done it weeks ago and I would not have been ready to do it earlier.”

England added: “It is probably harder now than it used to be to double up because of the depth of talent in the team.

“In the past I might have had more opportunities.”

England said with frustration that modern championship scheduling often rules out doubling up as you would have to run almost every day.

She said: “I don’t feel confident enough to spend a whole year on the 800.

“[My husband] Luke says it would be very interesting if I did.

“But I do enjoy the 800, so hopefully I can squeeze a few more in to my schedule.”

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