Jamie Webb determined to seize opportunity after late Commonwealth entry

·2-min read
Jamie Webb determined to seize opportunity after late Commonwealth entry

Liverpool's Jamie Webb is determined to seize his chance after his attention-grabbing heats win at the Commonwealth Games.

Webb missed selection for Team England in Birmingham after falling ill at the British Championships but was drafted in following an injury to national 800m number one Max Burgin at the recent Worlds in Oregon.

And there was no time to ease himself into the Games either, after officials decided to scrap heats, meaning only the top two from three-high quality semi-finals guaranteed their final slot this weekend.

Webb duly took up the race in the final lap and crossed the line just ahead of Scotland's Guy Learmouth in a time of 1:48.86.

"Win the heat, win the final, that's always my expectation," said Webb, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

"I know I can be medalling in finals on the world stage, I just need to prove that now.

"This was the heat of death, it was a stacked with talent, and to get through that is great for confidence.

"They made a very harsh last-minute change to the schedule, getting rid of casual heats. It's very rare you face a field of that quality without building into the race."

Australia's Peter Bol and Botswana's Boitumelo Masilo look the ones to beat in the final, but Webb insists he can mix it, despite his less-than-ideal preparations.

The former European Indoor silver medallist was expecting to spend this summer kicking his heels but trained hard in case an unexpected call came.

Now he wants to go better than fellow Liverpool Harrier Michael Rimmer, seventh in the Commonwealth Games 800m final in 2014.

"I've not lit the world alight this season, but I've been consistent," he added.

"I know that doesn't turn people’s heads, but I ran more sub 1.46 than I've run before, I've just not had a stand-out performance yet.

"I got an ill at British Championships and that was really disappointing because it affected every major championship this season. I was first reserve here and if there was any motivation to stay fit and get your head down it was competing here.

"I've not had to travel; I've just worked hard. I've got just one championship to focus on this year and that's a huge advantage.

"Part of this game is staying healthy, not just staying fit, and you've got to take your chances when they come along. I'm feeling really strong and training well."

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