Learmonth is top of world indoors

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LOCAL athlete Guy Learmonth is the unofficial number one 800m runner in the world in 2010 indoors for his age.

His time of 1min 50.25 was only beaten by two other runners in the next age group up and they were the two Americans Robbie Andrews and Caz Luxom, who were both in the final of this year’s world outdoor championships in Canada.

Coaches Henry Gray and Mark Learmonth knew his time from earlier in the year was special as he went to third on the all time list in the UK for the under 20 age group, and he still has another two years in this age group indoors.

Learmonth aims to beat the British indoors under 20s 800m record which is currently held by David Sharpe with a time of 1min 48.53, a time which coach Gray believes is well within Learmonth’s reach in 2011.

Learmonth, who comes from Berwick, is also ranked sixth in Europe and seventh in the world outdoors for his age and this augurs well for his main goal of the summer, which is the European Junior Championships in Tallinn in Estonia, where his main rivals are Miroslav Bursian of the Czech Republic,Adam Cotton of Great Britain, Pierre-Ambroise-Bosse of France, Halit Kilias of Turkey and his Scottish team mate Stuart Ross.

Gray also believes that his protégé has improved again over the winter, training with some of Great Britain’s top athletes at Loughborough University, under the expert guidance of world famous coaching guru George Gandy, who guided Sebastian Coe to world class.

Learmonth’s goals over the winter include:

* Making the GB team for the European Indoor Championships in Paris;

* Retaining his England under 20 800m title and beating his own championship record.

He would also like to attack the world junior indoor 600m record time of 76.9, which is currently held by the American Caz Luxom.