Jul 12 2012 By Matt Lewis
Julia Bleasdale Image 4
JULIA Bleasdale’s Olympic dream came true when she sealed her place at the London 2012 Games last week.
The Hillingdon AC runner will represent Team GB in the 5,000m and 10,000m after meeting the ‘A’ standard in both events.
Having run the fifth fastest 10,000m time ever by a British athlete in California in May, Bleasdale left it late to book her place in the 5,000m.
She produced a personal best 15:12.77 at the European Championships in Helsinki just days before the selection deadline to ensure she would be fighting on two fronts in Stratford.
“Having run a fast time in the States in the 10,000m I pretty much knew I had a strong chance of making the team,” said a delighted Bleasdale.
“It was only in Helsinki when I had a good race there that the 5,000m became a possibility.
“I’m very pleased with my performance in Helsinki – okay I missed out on a medal, but I was there to be tactical and to put myself in the mix and I did that.
“With a kilometre to go, I thought that the ‘A’ standard was in reach and I sped up and pushed myself on to try and increase the race pace.
“It was one of those moments where you have to make a split-second decision and I came away with the time and the opportunity to compete in London, which is fantastic.”
Bleasdale has been training at altitude in St Moritz, in Switzerland, as she prepares for the biggest event of her athletics career.
The runner was informed of her inclusion in the squad while in the eastern Alps and has been overwhelmed by the number of congratulatory messages she has received.
“I flew here straight from Helsinki just to try and get away from it all and recover,” said Bleasdale. “The main thing is to get some rest and recovery before getting on with some training without any distractions.
“I’ve had lots of emails and text messages congratulating me. I’m the one who is out there on the track performing, but it is a team effort and I’ve got great people around me.”
Bleasdale was due to return to the UK today and is set to feature at the star-studded Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on Friday.