Here’s Stuart Weir’s column on Laura Muir and the difference a year has made in her career.
A year ago, Laura Muir finished fourth in the World Championship 1500m behind Faith Kipyegon, Jenny Simpson and Caster Semenya and was about to embark on her final year of veterinary studies. In the past 12 months she has taken silver and bronze in the 1500m and 3000m at the World Indoors in Birmingham and won gold in the European Championships 1500m. And she has qualified as a vet.
In Brussels she won the Diamond League 1500m convincingly. She had previously been second in Diamond League 1500m races three times this year. In Eugene behind Shelby Houlihan, in Stockholm behind Gudaf Tsegay and in Lausanne again behind Houlihan.
Tonight she ran the first two laps at her own pace, ignoring the pacemaker before taking the lead with 450 meters to go and holding off the chasers to win in 3:58.49. Shelby Houlihan was second in 3:58.94, Sifan Hassan was third in 3:59.41 with Gudaf Tsegay fourth in 3:59.68.
Muir’s assessment of her performance was: “I’m really happy. I’ve been coming in second in the Diamond Leagues this year and I really wanted to win one. I knew this race was stacked and everyone was there and I felt that I have a good 1500m run in me. I am just so happy I was able to do it today in the Diamond League final, which is my last track race of the season.
“I wanted to go through 800 not too fast. So I stayed off the pace at the start as I normally do and went through 800m pretty much spot on. I knew that Shelby Houlihan has a good kick so I needed to push on. So with 450 to go out I took it on and knew I had to be strong in the final straight and I managed to hold her off. The last hundred was hard but I felt strong and in control and I kept my form pretty well. I think the last hundred meters is where I have struggled in some of my recent races and have tied up but I was really strong today”.
In the past she has been criticised for her tactics on occasions, she feels that it is a learning experience: “I think I have learned a lot from previous mistakes. I think now that I’ve been on the circuit a few years, I’ve got that experience. It also helps that I know the girls around me and know how they run so I try to play to my strengths and attack their weaknesses”.