ATHLETICS: Tank says Diamond League debut was a ‘valuable experience’

CITY of Plymouth’s Poppy Tank described competing at her first Diamond League meeting as a ‘valuable experience’.

New British champion Tank was among a high-class field that competed in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in front of a crowd of 50,000 people at the London Athletics Meet on Sunday.

The pace was exceptionally quick and the field got strung out straight away leaving many runners basically running on their own as Kenyan Jackline Chephoech ran a world-leading time.

Tank, competing in only her fourth steeplechase race, clocked 10.05.59, which was less than three seconds off her PB.

Afterwards she said: “I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to race in my first Diamond League, and on home soil too.

“Although it was not the performance I was aiming for and that I’m capable of, to be competing alongside such phenomenal athletes in my fourth steeplechase race ever is something I cannot be upset about.

“It’s such a huge learning curve but I am gaining such valuable experience to carry forward with me in this event and I am so fortunate to be on this journey.”

Tank’s Diamond League debut came just two days after fellow British champion Will Battershill also enjoyed the same honour in the men’s steeplechase in Monaco.

The Erme Valley Harriers athlete ran a PB of 8:22.64 to move up to 13th on the all-time UK list.

Afterwards he said it was an ‘incredible experience’ and added: “In at the deep end for my Diamond League debut, but learning to belong at this level.

“Happy with the season I’ve put together so far, but time to re-set some late season goals.”

Battershill’s current world ranking could probably qualify for a World Championship invitation. However, UK Athletics are set to reject all invitations for British athletes who have not met their tough qualifying times, regardless of their ranking.

Meanwhile, there were a number of personal bests and season best times at the BMC Meeting at Exeter on Tuesday evening.

Tamar Trotters’ Mike Wilsmore was second in the men’s 800m in 1:56.77. City of Plymouth’s under-20 athlete Gregor Norster clocked 2:00.02, Tavistock’s under-15 runner Caleb Gifford-Groves ran 2:07.21, while his team-mate Thomas Hennessey ran a PB time of 2:14.07, which ranks him up to sixth in the UK under-13 rankings.

There was also an 800m PB for City of Plymouth’s Molly Shorey, who clocked 2:19.62.

In the 1,500m, Tavistock’s Emma Ryder ran 4:38.86, while there was a big PB for City of Plymouth’s under-17 athlete Holly Reid, who clocked 4:42.71.

Full results can be found HERE.

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