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Melissa Courtney-Bryant Finds The Pace Tough In World Final And Admits: I Just Felt Rubbish

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By Hannah Blackwell

Melissa Courtney-Bryant has admitted she was left feeling disappointed after her 12th place finish in the final of the women’s 1500m at World Athletics Championships.

The Wales Commonwealth Games star struggled to stay with the pace in the second half of the race and crossed the line as the last of the finalists in 4:03.31.

In a forthright and honest assessment, Courtney-Bryant revealed afterwards she felt uncharacteristically sluggish, although she refused to hide behind any excuses.

“I don’t really know what’s wrong, I don’t really have any excuses, I just felt rubbish today,” she said.

“I was really good in warm-up, everything was leading for it to be good, but as soon as the gun went, I was like ‘oh no, my legs are not there’ and that is really hard because the stadium, the atmosphere, family and friends here – it is a big stage and you want to perform here.”

Courtney-Bryant was competing in her maiden World Championship final after an impressive summer in which she has smashed two Welsh records at 1500m and mile.

But she was unable to hide her frustration as she finished third among three Great Britain athletes to make the final, alongside sixth-placed Laura Muir and Katie Snowden, who finished eighth.

“I have to be really happy that I am in a World Championship final,” added 29-year-old Courtney-Bryant.

“The strength in British distance running, and in that final, is incredible. But that was a really below-par performance from me so I feel really disappointed.”

Muir, the Olympic silver medallist from Tokyo and bronze medallist from last year’s global gathering, was in contention throughout a final that ended rapidly, but was stretched out of another major medal as she clocked 3:58.58 minutes for sixth.

Teammate Snowden battled valiantly herself behind Muir to place eighth in 3:59.65.

Kenyan Faith Kipyegon claimed her third World Championships gold in dominant fashion in 3:54.87.

Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji was second with Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan third.

Muir said: “I thought I positioned myself well. It was slow and I was covering moves and things – it was just that last lap was crazy. It is just another one of those crazy finals.

“I felt like I won before coming into the race because I am happy. It has been hard, but I can’t thank [enough] the number of people that have supported me – it has been amazing. These two [Katie and Melissa] have done great, I am so proud of them.

“We were the only nation to have three in the final. I just can’t thank everyone enough. I am proud of that performance. I gave everything I could today and that is all I could ask of myself. I ran 3:56 in the semi-final – it has been hard, but I am really excited for the future.”

The inal began with an all-out sprint to get to the front, which Muir was well and truly in the mix of, but it was won by Kenyan favourite Faith Kipyegon, who then proceeded to slow the entire field down.

Muir was pushing to be part of the front three after 200m with Snowden and Courtney-Bryant tucked nicely in behind.

Kipyegon began to set a steadier pace, but little changed positionally over the next lap with the Brits largely remaining where they were.

Muir had to battle to keep her position in the front three, and on the outside, before the bell as Courtney-Bryant unfortunately found the going starting to get tough.

Muir was fifth at the bell and Snowden seventh as Kipyegon set a rapid pace and stretched the entire field out.

With 150m to go the medals were sadly out of reach for Muir and Snowden but they battled on to finish sixth and eighth respectively in 3:58.58 and 3:59.65. Courtney-Bryant was 12th in 4:03.31 as Kipyegon won in 3:54.87 after that rapid final lap.

Snowden said: “It wasn’t actually as quick as I thought it was going to be. When I saw it was a 64-65 second first lap and it was pretty bunched – we weren’t going as fast as I thought. I think the semis took quite a lot out of me.

“From the first lap I felt quite heavy legged and not as poppy as the semis – that was frustrating. I set a big PB in the last round and now eighth in the world – I can’t complain that much.”

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