Opportunity knocks for Wilsmore after making mark at Birmingham
PLYMOUTH'S Mike Wilsmore has won a new bunch of admirers and lifted his own confidence levels after an impressive performance at the Olympic trials in Birmingham.
Wilsmore (left) went to the combined UK Championships and London 2012 trials with no expectations of going further than the heats, given the quality of the opposition.
And, of course, the seriousness of the three-day Alexander Stadium event where the make up of the Olympic track and field squad was decided.
Wilsmore's event was the 1,500 metres in which a certain Mo Farrah had opted to enter to give himself 'sprint practice' ahead of his longer-distance events.
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University of Plymouth student Wilsmore did not have the acclaimed 5,000m and 10,000m runner in his heat, but was up against a class field, including Gateshead's Ross Murray.
Wilsmore decided to go for broke in the blue riband event and was leading the 13-strong field until just over the 1,300m mark when he was overtaken in the final 150 metres.
The 27-year-old Tamar Trotter and Bristol & West AC runner eventually finished seventh and 'was gutted' that he could not hang on longer to a top three place.
But he can take consolation that heat winner Murray (3:47.04) did win an Olympic place after coming second to Andy Baddeley in the 1,500m final.
Farrah had only raced in the heats, although in a wind-affected event, he came home in a time of 3:47.50.
Wilsmore, who races today as a pacesetter in a 'couple 1,500m races' at Exeter in the British Milers Club meet, is more confident than ever that he can force his way into the reckoning for a Commonwealth Games place in 2014.
"Yes, definitely, I'm even more determined to try to get to Glasgow now," said Wilsmore.
"The Commonwealths are a couple of years away and that gives me time to reach the levels I'll need to be at.
"The 1,500m on Friday night was frustrating and encouraging in equal measure.
"I was annoyed with myself at not being able to kick in again when I needed.
"But running against the likes of Ross (Murray) and Harry Harper, whom I have beaten in the past, has given me a lot more self-belief.
"I ran a time of 3:49.24 which while not as great as I'd have liked, just shows how tactical the race was.
"As a result of my race I got some really good feedback.
"I have been approached to compete at the Welsh International and also at Stretford in Manchester next month – both over 800m.