Gemma Kersey staying upbeat after British Championships but Adam Hickey is disappointed

Southend Standard: Gemma Kersey Gemma Kersey

GEMMA Kersey and Adam Hickey were left slightly disappointed with their weekend’s performances at the British Championships.

Kersey dug deep to get herself into the final of the 1,500m but just failed in her personal aim of finishing in the top eight, while Hickey finished in 14th place in the 5,000m in a time of 14m 30.16s, about 25 seconds slower than his season’s best.

Basildon AC athlete Kersey admitted the effort of getting into the final, which she did by the narrowest of margins finishing the fourth and final fastest loser from the heats, probably took its toll in the final.

But the 21-year-old, who had to miss several weeks of racing this summer because of a leg injury, refused to get too downbeat on her result.

Kersey said: “I felt pretty tired after the heats. I finished quite strongly, but I just didn’t have the legs to go with it when the pace picked up.

“Given how everything has gone I’m pretty happy. I’ve managed to get a gold at British Universities Championships, a gold at the Southern Championships and a silver at the England Under-23 Championships.

“I just would have liked to have got into the top eight here.”

Kersey has now reached the 1,500m final at the British Championships three times in the past four years but her best placing in those finals was eighth in 2011.

And she is determined to change that in the future.

“I have been there, thereabouts for a few years now,” she said. “I really felt like I had a big breakthrough this winter. But it has taken a while to get the pace of the 1500 metres into my legs. “I know I can run quicker times. I know I can run quicker than my personal best of 4m 13s. My training suggests I’m in PB shape.

“I’ve got a couple months of the summer left now and I’m going to work hard to get those times down.

“One positive I can take out of it was that I qualified the slowest in the field but I finished ninth in the final, so I took three scalps.”

Southend AC’s Hickey was struggling to share his training partner’s optimism and said he must find a way of getting used to big championship racing.

Southend Standard:

Adam Hickey

A big field of 21 started the 5,000m and with no one intent on setting a pace, the race became a bit of a fight for position, something Hickey admits he is not used to.

“I tried to hold my own,” he said. “But I just couldn’t. I would have much rather a quicker paced race but it’s an experience and I’m always learning.

“I’m not used to running in races like that. I find it difficult running in such a big group, it’s not something that I’ve experienced much of.

“I’m not even used to it in training because I do most of my training on my own.”

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