Five North East athletes off to World Athletics Championships in Beijing

Laura Weightman.
Laura Weightman.
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The North East has five athletes selected for the World Athletics Championships in Beijing this month.

The two women and three men are: Laura Weightman 1,500m, Kate Avery 10,000, Richard Kilty 100m and relay, Niall Flannery 400m hurdles and Rabih Yousif 400m.

Morpeth Harrier Weightman, who won 1,500m medals at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships last summer, rediscovered her form with a gutsy triumph in the 1500m in the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium.

She is now training at altitude for three weeks before she comes back down to sea level to join Scottish revelation Laura Muir (1,500m) for the trip to China

Avery, who finished fourth in the Commonwealth 10,000m last summer in Glasgow, claimed her place in the team after clocking 31:47.44 for the 25 laps in California earlier this year.

The Shildon Harrier, who is studying at Iona College, produced her best ever track performance, which came on the back of finishing a close-up second in the European Cross-Country Championships in Bulgaria.

Gateshead Harrier Richard Kilty received a surpise 100m call-up after being disqualified for a false start in the Anniversary Games.

He has also shown little form since June following injury and is also included in the 4x100m relay squad.

The Teesside tornado, who is the World and European 60m indoor champion, joins Chijindu Ujah, who equalled his personal best of 9.96secs in London and James Dasaolu.

Thornaby sprinter Rabih Yousif will compete in the 400m alongside Jarryd Dunn.

Yousif will be looking for improvement, after enduring a disappointing race in the Olympic Stadium.

He was well off the pace and finished a below-par sixth in 45.43, almost a second behind the race-winner.

Gateshead Harriers have another member of the Great Britain team in hurdler Niall Flannery.

He gained selection for the 400m hurdles by clocking 49.23 in Madrid last month.

Sunderland Harriers staged a well attended endurance seminar for club members in the Lakeside Club.

The meeting organised by the men’s team manager Albert James covered subjects such as the history of the club, stage of development, race targets, planning for events, veterans competition, and club coach Richie Tough’s six phased training plan.

The plan was well received by club members as it gave them an insight into how improved race results can be achieved with a controlled training plan.

Also, the importance of track racing was also discussed for those athletes that want to ensure that speed is not neglected.

James mapped out where he wanted to see the club in a few years time with improved championship results the target for men and women.

He has been heartened by the number of team race wins this year by the men and the bigger turnout by the women in local and national events.

He also revealed the possibility of training and racing days abroad.

The 28th Darlington 10km Road Race takes place on Sunday at 10.30am.

Last year saw Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon’s 2008 female course record (33.38) broken by Kate Avery (33.05).

Yared Hagos holds the men’s record of 30.06 set in 2011.There are no entries on the day.