Mukhtar Mohammed may have been pipped to the Sainsbury’s British Championships title for a third straight year but after a turbulent season the middle distance runner insists the result is certainly a positive.
The 23-year-old was trailing Andrew Osagie heading into the last lap of Saturday’s 800m final in Birmingham, but despite passing him on the home straight it was Michael Rimmer who had the better kick.
Mohammed crossed the line in 1:48.20 minutes, just 0.20 seconds behind British champion Rimmer, picking up silver just like in 2013 and 2012.
But having had a few injury setbacks so far this year the Sheffield Running Club star insists he now faces a race against time to be at the peak of his powers at the Commonwealth Games, while the European Championships standard still eludes him.
“It was a great race and I was fighting to the end but [Michael] Rimmer was the strongest and he just wanted it more on the day,” said Mohammed, who hopes to compete throughout the Summer Series – backed by long-term supporter Sainsbury’s.
“I am really proud to bring back a medal – three years in a row I have won the silver medal now so hopefully next year I can get the gold.
“I have been struggling this year a bit, I had a setback but I am really looking forward to racing at the Commonwealth Games and I have two weeks to make the A standard for the Europeans.
“Hopefully I can do it so I can make that European team and it is a tough year to have two big competitions.
“With my injury setbacks I won’t be 100 per cent until maybe after the Commonwealths but I will give it my all.”
Lee Doran (City of Sheffield), picked for Wales in the Commonwealth Games, won the javelin with his opening throw of 70.71 but has a lot to find to qualify for the European.
Luke Cutts (Dearne ALC) is still struggling for form in the pole vault after injury and finished fifth in 5.25.
Cutts came in at 5.25 which he cleared first time but could not get over 5.35.
He shared fifth place with his Dearne team mate 16 year old Adam Hague.
For Hague it was a superb result. Like Cutts he cleared 5.25 at his first attempt but could not manage 5.35 which would have been a personal best.
Sheffield based Louise Bloor (Trafford) reached the final of the 100 metres where she excelled to finish fifth in 11.46 in a high quality race. Also placing fifth in their finals were Karla Drew, 100 hurdles (13.54), Abigail Roberts, pole vault (3.80) and Richard Yates, 400 hurdles (50.44).
The 28-year-old Bloor said: “I felt really good, strong out the blocks and I have become really confident in my starts now and I feel more consistent.
“I know I have a really good time in me.”
* Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy