Guy Learmonth did his home town of Berwick proud at the weekend by reaching the world athletics championships 800m semi-finals at the London Olympic stadium.
Learmonth ran in heat six on Saturday and finished in a fine third place in 1.45.90 to qualify by right, finishing just behind two of the world’s top runners – Donavan Brazier from the USA and Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia (former world champion). Behind the Berwick bullet were other world-class runners, including Marcin Lewandowski of Poland, who has won world and European medals, and Amel Tuka, from Bosnia Herzegovina, who has also won medals at the highest level.
Learmonth then ran in the first semi-final and had another great run, finishing in fifth place in a very tactical race that saw the first five in close proximity, with Adam Kszczot of Poland in first place, Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos of Botswana in second place, Commonwealth finalist Ferguson Rotich of Kenya in third and American Isaiah Harris in 4th – all world-class runners.
Behind guy were Elliot Giles, the British champion, and Spanish champion Kevin Lopez.
BBC commentator Brendan Foster said: “It’s a step in the right direction for Guy Learmonth and Elliot Giles but there was some class in that field and they just weren’t able to cope with it.”
Learmonth can now look forward to competing at the world indoor championships in Birmingham and the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, next year against the world’s very best.