Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Stacey's Back from a Break with a Bang; Former England Runner's Stunning Return to Action

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Stacey's Back from a Break with a Bang; Former England Runner's Stunning Return to Action

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL MCGUIRK

IT'S been a whirlwind few weeks for former England 800 metres champion Stacey Smith.

The middle-distance ace opened 2018 with an outing in the BMC Open Meeting in Sheffield in early January, which was her first 1,500 metres contest indoors since 2012.

So it was quite a surprise that she came out on top after leading throughout to record 4min 13.68secs, a time which earned her an England call-up to run in Bratislava a few weeks later.

Again she led from the front to see off the international opposition to win in a relatively slow time of 4:17.71.

Racing certainly the agenda linked David, I Sheffield how fit To some, Smith's times weren't exactly world-shattering but for the Gateshead Harrier they were enormous due to the fact that last year she only returned to competitive athletics after giving the sport a miss for five years.

However, her first two outings of 2018 tipped the scales in favour of her giving the British Championships a go in Birmingham where she comfortably sailed through the heats before finishing third (4:16.00) in a slow run final.

That bronze medal performance led to an invite to last weekend's Muller International Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow.

indoors wasn't on when I up with only ran at to see I was And that race showed she can mix it with the best where she finished in sixth place in 4:10.05, her quickest time over the metric mile since 2011 when she posted 4:06.81.

Smith puts her new-found success down to the fact that she is trying to get a formula that fits in training with a heavy workload. "I still find it difficult to get my sessions organised for I am so busy and I'm sure David (Lowes, her coach) understands that,'' said Smith, after her Scottish outing.

"After being out for so long I was just happy to get back running again but I'm over the moon the way things have gone, it's a real joy and I'm loving every moment being back racing competitively. …

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