Athletics ace Lee Emanuel has clinched a British middle distance indoor title.
The St Leonards runner won the men’s 1,500m at the Sainsbury’s British Athletics Indoor Championships in Sheffield yesterday (Sunday) afternoon and should now be on his way to the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships.
Representing City of Sheffield AC, Emanuel triumphed in a close finish where the leading four athletes were separated by just over half a second. His time of 3:48.15 was just enough to see off Scottish runner Chris O’Hare (3:48.68), Brighton-based Charlie Grice (3:48.69) and Belgrave competitor Kris Gauson (3:48.73).
O’Hare - who reached the 1,500m final at the outdoor World Championships in Moscow last summer - led after 400m before youngster Grice headed the field at 800m and 1,200m, but it was Emanuel who had the strongest finish.
Although Emanuel had run four seconds inside the qualifying time for the World Indoors when clocking the fastest mile in the world this indoor season in New York recently, he needed to win the British Championships to make sure of his place in the British team which travels to Poland during March.
Emanuel had set the second fastest time in the heats on Saturday evening. He clocked 3:49.90 in heat one to finish second behind O’Hare, who ran 3:49.72, having led after 400m, 800m and 1,200m.
The top two finishers in each of the three heats went through to the final along with the three fastest other times, all of which came from Emanuel’s heat. Having just turned 29, Emanuel feels he is in the best shape of his career after reuniting with his old university coach Joe Franklin in Albuquerque, New Mexico.