Sheffield athlete Lee Emmanuel’s ‘awful’ race in Birmingham

Lee Emmanuel
Lee Emmanuel
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Sheffield’s Lee Emmanuel says he has no regrets with his 1500m performance at the Sainsbury’s Summer Grand Prix, despite withdrawing from the race with 200m to go.

Emmanuel was up against a strong field in Birmginham with Kenyan James Kiplagat Magut taking the win in 3:37.61 followed by his two compatriots Hillary Cheruiyot Ngetich and Vincent Kibet.

For Emmanuel it was a struggle from the start as he couldn’t keep pace with the leading pack and fell behind fellow Brits Charlie Grice and Ross Murray.

And he says he knew from the off it wasn’t going to be his day and had no qualms about calling it a day without finishing the race.

“That was awful to be honest, it just felt bad from the beginning and with 200m to go I knew it wasn’t going to be a good time,” said Emmanuel, speaking at the event, a partnership with British Athletics that builds on Sainsbury’s support for the 2012 Paralympics and recognises that sport can unite and inspire children of all ages.

“I could have finished but it was one of those things where I don’t need to put myself through it, it was hard.

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Athletics: Latest news, reports and more.

“I travelled in from Boston and I was hoping it would be alright and I felt OK as well and had no reason to think it wouldn’t be but it must have caught up with me a bit or maybe I’m not very good at the minute.

“I felt really good yesterday and I was really hopefully that I was going to run well but it was a funny race and it was hard to get out and was a bit messy.”

After a busy indoor campaign it is set to be an equally packed outdoor season with the British Championships to come followed by the World Championships in Beijing.

And Emmanuel insists that he will be doing everything in his power to make an impact when it matters most.

“It was a very good field so it was good to get in among it and they showed how good they are because it was pretty windy out there,” he added.

“It was a real competitive race and I wanted to mix it with them a little bit more but I will learn from it and I’m not defeated but am disappointed for sure.

“The British standard is so high at the moment and I know how hard the other guys work and train so I know I need to put the work in and that drives me on because I know I need to be at the top of my game and I think I will be when it comes to it.”

* Sainsbury’s is a proud partner of British Athletics. The partnership reflects Sainsbury’s wider commitment to inspiring healthy lifestyles for all, and complements grassroots campaigns such as Active Kids and the Sainsbury’s School Games.