Jessica Judd and Hayley McLean nervously await news of Commonwealth Games selections (From Southend Standard)
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Jessica Judd and Hayley McLean nervously await news of Commonwealth Games selections
TEENAGE track stars Jessica Judd and Hayley McLean are expected to find out today if they have made England’s Commonwealth Games team.
The 19-year-olds will be waiting nervously by their phones hoping to hear good news back from the England team selection meeting.
Neither athlete can be sure of winning a place on the team, but both would love to represent their country in Glasgow this summer.
800m runner Judd, who ran for Great Britain at the World Championships last year, said: “I hope to be selected. The 800m is such a competitive event though so I will just have to wait and see but I would absolutely love it if I was named in the England team.”
McLean, the European Junior 400m hurdles champion, added: “It would be amazing to represent England. It makes me cry a little bit thinking about it. I really don’t know whether it will happen or not, it’s hard to say but I know I have given everything to make it happen.”
Middle-distance talent Judd has the strongest chance of winning selection.
The Canvey athlete – who has spent the past month training with Britain’s elite middle-distance runners at altitude in Utah in the USA – has the A-standard 800m qualifying time for the Games from last summer but, after a winter out injured, has not run either an A or a B-standard time yet this season.
She was left frustrated at the weekend when, in her first international race of the season, a last-minute change by organisers saw her pulled out of the main 800m race at the Diamond League in Oregon, USA, and put into a B-race a day earlier where she ran 2m 2.28s.
“It was a bit of a fiasco but 2m 2s isn’t too bad off of only being back down from altitude for one day!” Judd said. “I’m hoping my A-standard time from last year is enough to be selected but I will have to wait and see.
“I loved it training out in Park City in Utah. The camp was brilliant and training with elite athletes was brilliant. I’m a little sad to be coming home!”
Stanford-le-Hope’s McLean, meanwhile, gave her hopes a shot in the arm by running a B-standard qualification time of 56.50s in Belgium last week but missed out on a second qualification time in Marseille on Saturday.
Hayley McLean winning gold at the European Junior Championships last summer
She is, however, the second-ranked English athlete this year, eighth ranked in Europe and her personal best would have been good enough to make the final at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi four years ago.
“I’m thinking the worst then I can’t be disappointed,” said McLean, who like Judd is a Chelmsford AC athlete.
“I always knew it would be a tough ask. It would be my first senior vest and at a massive event like the Commonwealths. It’s hard to process.
“I think if I had run inside 57 seconds (the B-standard time) again in France on Saturday I would have had a better chance but the preparations weren’t quite right for that and I think I was still on a massive high from running 56.50s a few days earlier.
“That was my aim for the season, to run 56.50s, and I’ve done that already so know I feel really relaxed about everything. I’m happy with where I am, regardless of whether I get selected or not.”
The third south Essex athlete in with a chance of making the team is Linford’s Amir Williamson who has two B-standard distances for the hammer and is the third-ranked English athlete.
The selectors will meet tomorrow but expect a flurry of protests meaning the team will not be made public until next week.