Jenny Meadows targets new personal best in 2011

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport
Meadows eases to 800m win at Diamond League in Shanghai (UK users only)

World 800m bronze medallist Jenny Meadows believes she can beat her personal best this season after an impressive 2011 outdoor debut in China.

The 30-year-old from Wigan put in a confident performance to win at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai.

And she told BBC Sport that her time of two minutes 0.54 seconds gives her something to build on ahead of August's World Championships in Daegu, Korea.

"If pushed, I think I could have gone a couple of seconds faster," she said.

"Looking at the entry list beforehand it was a race I knew I needed to win, but I was surprised the others weren't more competitive.

"I felt didn't have to get out of second gear for the first 600m and I just kicked on for the last 200m.

"It felt really easy. Things have been going well in training since the end of the indoor season and it confirmed the sort of shape that I am in."

Meadows burst onto the big stage with bronze in the World Championships in Berlin in 2009 and after a 2010 season affected by injury, won European bronze in Barcelona.

But she admits she was disappointed by her European Indoor Championship silver medal earlier this year, where she puts down her defeat by Russia's Yuliya Rusanova to tactical errors.

"This season I'd definitely like to beat my personal best of 1:57.93 which I set in Berlin this season. I'd love to run a low 1:57 time or maybe break 1:56," she added.

Jenny Meadows
Meadows recovered from injury to win European bronze in Barcelona last year

"But I think Kelly Holmes's British record of 1:56.21 is a slightly out of touching distance for me this year.

"If I can break my PB [personal best] I will be there or thereabouts in Daegu. It normally takes a high 1:57 time to win a medal at a Worlds or Olympics, so if I aim for that at some point in the season it would stand me in good stead for the Worlds.

"If I had won European Indoor gold I wouldn't have asked myself the questions I've asked myself since then and I feel I've made lots of improvements.

"Winning silver highlighted a lot of things. I wouldn't want to have won gold and had things my own way and then gotten a shock during the outdoor season."

In the build-up to the Worlds, Meadows will be running in front of a home crowd at the Diamond League meetings in Birmingham on 10 July, and at Crystal Palace on 5 and 6 August.

But before then, she returns to Diamond League action in Oslo on 9 June where she is set to face, among others, World champion Caster Semenya, Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair and Mariya Savanova of Russia.

And she admits that the Diamond League races are a key part of her build-up to the biggest meeting of the season.

"There is no point facing easy opposition over the season and then being overawed at a major championship so I'm looking forward to competing," she said.

"To have two Diamond League events in Britain is fantastic and there are always strong fields because everyone likes racing in the UK.

"It's great to face your opponents during the season and I'm sure I'll go to Daegu having raced each girl three or four times as a dress rehearsal ahead of the Worlds."

Top Stories