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Canvey star Jessica Judd runs Olympic B qualifying time
TEENAGE star Jessica Judd has revealed she is taking it one race at a time as the prospect of her appearing at this summer’s Olympics becomes more than just a dream.
The 17-year-old ran an Olympic B-standard time of 2m 1.09s for the 800m at Watford on Saturday night, making her the fourth fastest woman in the country this year.
The time was the second fastest ever by a British junior and inside the top 10 fastest junior times in the world...ever.
And the King John School sixth-former, from Canvey, is confident she can go even faster.
“It’s so promising,” said Judd, the current World Youth Championships bronze medallist at 800m. “To have run a low 2m 1s is just amazing and I’m so happy. A few people said to me afterwards that it’s only a matter of time before I go sub two minutes. I think I’m in the shape to do it, it’s just being in the right race.
“The conditions weren’t perfect in Watford. There was a bit of wind and there were a lot of things in the race which I feel I can improve upon, like making my 200 metres more even paced for instance. It’s little things and they can make a difference. But it’s really promising. I’m stepping in the right direction.”
The Chelmsford AC teenager will next have the opportunity to run the 800m at the Olympic Trials in under two weeks’ time.
And if she does run anywhere close to sub two minutes in Birmingham and finishes in the top three, she will have given herself a very real chance, at just 17, of being part of the Great Britain squad at this summer’s Games.
Judd, however, has a mature head on young shoulders and is refusing to get carried away by such possibilities and is still maintaining focus on her main aim of the season, the World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
She said: “It’s so weird to think about what could happen. My main aim coming into the year was the World Juniors. I’m aiming to double up and do the 800m and 1,500m at those championships.
“I’m running the 1,500m at the World Junior trials this weekend and I want to go there, do well and then that’s one box ticked. Then the following week I’ll be doing the 800m at the Olympic Trials and I’ve just got to see what happens. I got to the final last year but that was the World Trials. This year it’s the Olympics and there will be a lot more people there and a lot more people desperate to do well. I just want to make the final and see what happens.”
* For more on our interview with Jessica Judd, see Friday’s athletics section in the Echo.