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Former Harrier's 1,500m hope
7:40pm Friday 15th June 2012 in Sport
ATHLETICS: FORMER Thurrock Harrier Jessica Judd will turn her attention to the 1,500m this weekend still on a high from running the Olympic B standard in the 800m last weekend.
The 17-year-old has opted to run the longer distance at the UK Under-20 Championships and World Junior Championship trials in Bedford.
And the teenager has revealed she is hoping to secure a spot in both middle-distance events at the World Juniors in Barcelona.
“That has always been my main aim for this season,” said Judd, from Canvey. “My coach (Jeremy Freeman) has said he wants me to try doubling up. It would mean five races in six days, so it would be very hard.
“The 800m covers the first three days and there would be a lot of time waiting around after that. That’s probably why my coach wants me to do the 1,500m, he knows how much I hate hanging around!
“I’ve got the qualifying times for both events, but I know my 1,500m time can come down a lot.”
Given Judd’s blistering 800m time of 2m 01.09s at Watford last weekend, it’s certainly a reasonable expectation that her 1,500m best of 4m 14.21s can come down further.
That 800m time was the Olympic B-standard and the second fastest by a British junior ever.
And Judd says the time is evidence her decision to focus on speed training over the winter, while sacrificing some of her endurance work, has paid off.
The King John sixth-former was worried when she was not her usual dominant self over the cross-country season, but can see now the plan set out by Freeman has paid off.
“Last year I just couldn’t run faster than 2m 2.7s,” she said. “I tried and tried but it wouldn’t come down.
“Then this year I opened up with a 2m 2.50s and now to go down to a low 2m 01s is just amazing.
“Jeremy (Freeman) has always believed in me and it’s nice to know all the 800m-specific speed training is paying off.
“At the World Youth Championships last year (where Judd won a bronze medal), I hadn’t done that speed training.
“I was hanging on in the final stages then, now I feel much stronger.
“I had three weeks of really hard training before Watford and only eased off a few days before. It was good to know I can run that well off that training.
“That’s in the bank now and I know there’s still a little way to go.”