GB champ in red hot form

Athletics ace Lee Emanuel says he’s in the form of his life after a tremendous fortnight on the indoor scene.

The middle distance runner from St Leonards won the 3,000m at the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships 2015 and then clocked the second fastest indoor 1,500m time ever by a British athlete.

Middle distance runner Lee Emanuel has had plenty to smile about over the last couple of weeks (SUS-150225-105149002)

Middle distance runner Lee Emanuel has had plenty to smile about over the last couple of weeks (SUS-150225-105149002)

He said: “I think I’m probably in the best form I’ve ever been in, and I just put it down to consistent and hard training. The last three or four months have gone really well. I’ve not had any major issues, no injuries or any bouts of sickness, or anything like that.

“Every training session I’ve done has been pretty much a success so doing that for the whole winter means I’m in really good aerobic shape. I’ve been working on my speed a little bit over the last three or four weeks and that seems to be working as well so it’s all kind of come together nicely.”

Emanuel, who spends the bulk of his time training in New Mexico, won the British indoor title over 1,500m last year and repeated the feat over the longer distance at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield, on February 14.

The 30-year-old took the title in 8:03.92, more than a second clear of runner-up Philip Hurst (Elswick).

“I went there to try and win, and I felt like I had a good chance of doing that,” Emanuel continued. “It’s great to cross the line knowing that all the training I’ve done over the last three or four months is working and has been worthwhile. It’s why I run to achieve things like that.”

Emanuel, Hurst and Tom Lancashire were named in the Great Britain & Northern Ireland squad announced on Tuesday for the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, from March 5-8.

Not content with that, Emanuel produced a stunning performance over his more familiar 1,500m distance at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham last weekend.

Up against a world class field, Emanuel came sixth in a personal best of 3:35.66 - a time bettered only by Peter Elliott in the history of British indoor athletics and just three-quarters of a second behind the winner.

Emanuel’s time was three seconds quicker than his previous indoor best and almost a second faster than his outdoor PB of 3:36.55 set in 2013.

“I’m still amazed by it,” said Emanuel, who was only beaten by four Kenyans and an American. “I can’t believe how fast I ran. I would’ve been really happy with 3:38 or 3:37, but to run 3:35 and for it to be the second fastest time by a Brit is a phenomenal achievement.

“It’s still kind of sinking in to be honest. When the time came up I was in a little bit of shock, but the last 200m I felt great. To be running against world class runners and them only just beating me gives me a lot of confidence.”