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Norwich Union GB&NI team update: Meadows in 800m

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Jenny Meadows
Jennifer Meadows

UK Athletics today called-up Jennifer Meadows (Wigan and District Harriers) for the 800m at the IAAF World Championships that begin in Osaka, Japan, on Saturday 25 August.


Currently ranked No.2 in the UK at the distance, she will replace Becky Lyne (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield), who withdrew last night citing an injury to her left calf.


As she prepared to fly from Heathrow to the Norwich Union Preparation Camp in Macau, Meadows talked candidly of her disappointments of the past week. They began on Monday when she learnt she had not been given an 800m place in the Norwich Union Great Britain & Northern Ireland team, but was in the 4x400m squad.


Meadows shrugged off her massive frustration to win a British Miler’s Club 800m in Manchester on Saturday night in 2 minutes 00.61 seconds, the seventh time this year she has run an Osaka qualifying time.


She said: “I’m afraid I was at the lowest of low points last week. Selectors’ decisions have gone against me before but this one really hit me for six. I thought doing the Trials, beating Becky at Sheffield and Crystal Palace and having the A standard would be enough.


“I felt deflated. I’ve not had the motivation to run all week. I didn’t have the motivation to train. I’ve had a week of very little sleep. My first reaction was ‘I don’t want to spend three and a half weeks on the other side of the world with people who haven’t selected me’. I phoned Dave Collins [UK Athletics Performance Director] and he said he could understand what I was saying. He gave me a few days to think about it.


“I’m quite a team player and I would like to be in the relay squad not just now but for Beijing next year. I thought I should show my team spirit and go, though quite what part I will play in the relay I don’t know.


“And I’m glad I got back on track last night. Originally I was going into the race with the intention of running sub-2 minutes. But warming-up I felt quite heavy-legged and was thinking, ‘What am I doing here?’ My mind-set when I started to race was, ‘Just win’. To run a world-class time is not bad considering I ran the last 300 metres on my own.


“All of my training has been geared to running 800s in Osaka and I know I am in shape.”


UK Athletics announced Meadows would join colleagues Marilyn Okoro (Shaftsbury Barnet) and Jemma Simpson (Newquay & Par) over 800m in the GB&NI team.


UK Athletics Senior Performance Manager for Endurance Alan Storey said:


“It is a big disappointment for Becky that she will not be able to compete in Osaka. There was a concern about her health and fitness and Becky has our full support in choosing not to run.


“It is great to have someone of Jennifer’s calibre for us to call on and she will fit into the team well.”