Women's highlights at 2020 Muller British Athletic Championships...

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Laviai happiest.jpgLaviai Neilsen, photo by British Athletics

This is Stuart Weir's column on the women's highlights at the 2020 Muller British Athletic Championships...

There were several solid performances in the women's track events. Nine months ago I had never heard of Jessie Knight but now she is British Indoor 400 champion and British outdoor 400h champion. In August, she won hurdles races in Brussels and twice in Poland. She became a full-time athlete only this week, reducing her elementary school teaching job from 5 to 3 days a week. On a cold windy afternoon she won in 55.80, commenting: "Yes I am over the moon, it was my first outdoor win as I got a bronze here last year. I have so much respect for all the athletes here, we have all still come out and we are still enjoying it. I missed out on the World Championships last year by 400th of a second. This year, I'm the British Champion, I have got the Olympic qualifying time so I am crossing my fingers that it goes ahead next year". I will be posting a longer piece on Knight in a week or two.

1270778406.jpgJesse Knight, 400m H, photo by British Athletics

Laviai Nielsen defended her 400 flat title winning in 51.73 - a decent time on a cold windy afternoon in only her 5th race of the year and with no one pressing her. She said: "I am delighted to have run a season's best and dip under 52 so really glad to have come and done that. Running here this weekend is all about taking the positives and it is a great position to be in. When I started the season there were no meets and so it was difficult to feel motivated. Once I got some competitions, I started to feel the pressure which is much better for me as I love it when I am competing under pressure. I feel very privileged to be able to race".

1270793477.jpgLaviai Neilsen, photo by British Athletics

Laura Weightman won the 1500m in 4.09.76 from Jess Judd. Laura said: "Every time you win a British title it is special as every race is different. I felt like it was really important to come here and race today because this year you do not have that many racing opportunities. I wanted to come and do these championships because I can't chase fast races around the world because you are not going to run PBs every week. So for me it was important to refresh that championship racing mind and just have a bit of run. That is what the British Championships is all about. I am loving the 5000m work at the moment with running 14.35 in Monaco being pretty special for me but, I still love the 1500m and it is still my favourite at heart. I know my coach will have a lot more ideas about me running the 5000m and I am really excited to explore my potential in that event".

1270802498.jpgLaura Weightman, photo by British Athletics

18 year-old Keely Hodkinson won the 800m in 2:03.24, running with great maturity and tactical sense.

1270789500.jpgKeely Hodkinson, photo by British Athletics

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