Jessie Knight - assessment of Toruń


EvyuvzlXAAArcbu.jpgJessie Knight, photo by European Athletics

Jessie Knight spoke to Stuart Weir on her assessment of Toruń.

Jessie Knight - assessment of Toruń

We have previously followed the career of Jessie Knight for whom 2020 was a transformative year, resulting in her cutting her job as an elementary school-teacher to 50% in order to work towards the Tokyo Olympics.

In 2020 she was British Champion indoor at 400m and outdoor at 400m hurdles. She also ran in two Diamond Leagues. Then in 2021 she was selected for the GB team for the European Indoors in Toruń. In the prelim she was a comfortable second in 52.17, with two automatic qualifiers for the semi-finals. She commented after the race: "I knew I had someone very fast inside me (Justyna Święty-Ersetic). When she got the break ahead of me, I just sat with her. I was really aware of those behind me. I do feel that if anyone had come on my shoulder I would have been able to accelerate though. So I felt quite in control. I don't want to say I settled for second but I didn't want to be fighting when I'd got a semi-final coming up later in the day".

1305462527.jpgJessie Knight, photo by European Athletics

In the semi-final she was 4th in 52.22 and did not qualify for the final, saying immediately afterwards: "To be honest, I'm quite disappointed. When I saw who was in my semi-final, I knew it would be hard to get into the final, but I thought if I got into my PR time, I could, so yes, I'm a bit disappointed, but another low-52, so it wasn't awful. Overall, it's been quite a successful first champs".

In the relay an inexperienced British quartet produced a magnificent race finishing more than a second ahead of Poland! Jessie's comment, after the race, shows the high expectations of this group of ladies: "I've just had so much fun. It was so nice, athletics is usually an individual sport and this is my first time being part of a GB relay and I've loved it. I'm a bit gutted that I didn't hold onto first, but I had Femke [Bol] behind me, so I had to be sensible when I had her on my shoulder. I could have gone and run a 300 metre PR, but then my legs could have gone and I could have lost us a medal together, so I think I made the sensible choice. I'm really happy with my split, all of the girls did amazing and I had so much fun, so there's lots to take away for these championships".


1 Netherlands 3:27.15

2 GB 3:28.20

3 Poland 3:29.94

Chatting to me after the event - and in isolation as some of the GB team tested positive -

Jessie gave me a more measured assessment of her first championship: "In the individual event I was consistent but not it was what I had hoped for. At first, I was disappointed, but now that I've had time to reflect, as it was my first championship, I think it was OK.

1305530354.jpgJessie Knight, photo by European Athletics

"I had quite a tricky heat because I had Justyna Święty-Ersetic in it I also knew that I had a semi-final on the same day. So when Justyna and I were together at the front it is just about holding that position and not letting Bolingo Mbongo, who was behind me, get past. I felt in control and it didn't feel like a really hard run but I think the consequence of me not winning the heat was that I was put in a really stacked semi-final with Święty-Ersetic, Klever and a really quick Ukrainian.

HMEtorun2021_07032021_grzegorzolkowski_92.jpgJessie Knight, 4x400m, photo by European Athletics

"That meant to come in the top two [and make the final] I would have needed to have run the race of my life, which I didn't manage to do. It was difficult because Klever is the type of athlete who likes to go out really quick and she went through in 23.9, which is a lot quicker than I do. As I had lane three, I then got a bit boxed in and you know how important it is in an indoor race to get to the front - but I couldn't do it. With hindsight, I wish I'd tried to go with the pace, and even though that would have been a bit out of my comfort zone, and see what happened. Then, hindsight is a wonderful thing! I just think I could have made the final but I missed out. Still a bit disappointed but on reflection it was OK".

HMEtorun2021_07032021_grzegorzolkowski_91.jpgJessie Knight, 4x400m, photo by European Athletics

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