Melissa Courtney was supposed to provide the lead for the bigger names to use to drag them to a good time at the Great City Games in Newcastle, but the Welsh middle distance ace gave her rivals more than they bargained for.
Instead of setting the pace for everyone else and then slipping down the field, she gritted her teeth, stayed in the hunt and then stormed to victory in 4 min, 33.83 sec. It was a stunning way for her to complete a great season and the victory will have given her chances of going to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games next year a huge boost.
A breakthrough 2017 has seen her set new PBs over 800 metres (2.04.03), 1500 (4.05.82), Mile (4.23.15) and 3,000 (9.03.63) and 5,000 (15.28.95) on the track. Her stunning performance in Newcastle was a massive PB for a mile on the road.
Her previous road miles had been 4.48 at the Anniversary Games at Horseguards Parade and 4.51 in the Westminster Mile. This time she was within 10 seconds of her track best in a world class display.
“It is such a nice way to finish the season. I was disappointed not to make the British team at the World Championships, but I ran the qualifying time and I was able to compete at the London Diamond League event,” said Courtney.
“I missed out on running for Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games by less than half-a-second, so I’m really excited to have achieved the A standard for both the 800 and 5,000 this time,” said Courtney.
“That was my last race of the season and I’m just looking forward to a break now, because I need it.”
Last month she finished fifth in the World Student Games 1500 final in Taipei and now she will be focussing on competing for a medal in Australia.