Simpson eager to prove her worth for Great Britain
JEMMA Simpson is delighted to have finally ended a long four-year wait to represent Great Britain on the international stage again, writes Kevin Fahey.
The 30-year-old Polgooth Olympian will run the 1,500m at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, from March 7-9 after comfortably adding the qualifying standard at the Birmingham Games to her victory in the national championships the previous weekend.
Simpson said: "Obviously I am very pleased to be selected because it has been a long time since I made a British team."
Indeed, the last time the Newquay & Par AC international pulled on her GB vest in anger was the 2010 European Championships when she finished fifth in the 800m.
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In the two years preceding that Simpson took part in the World Championships and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It was a golden period for Simpson and one she may have wondered might never come again after being cut from funding and controversially over-looked for the 2012 Olympics.
She added: "I knew I had to put myself in a position that they (the GB selectors) could not select me.
"I had to put my fate in my own hands rather than in the hands of other people and I did that by winning the trials and then getting the qualifying time."
Simpson ran a season's best of 4mins 11.59secs in Birmingham on Saturday, which was only 0.42secs outside her indoor best set six years ago when she last ran the indoors season and also qualified for the World Indoors in Valencia.
Simpson said: "Most of the previous World Indoors have been won in 4mins 05/7secs except when I did it in 2008 and a Russian won in 3:57 – and was later banned for drug abuse.
"I now have two weeks to put some race specific training together and hopefully by the time I go to Poland I will be in shape to run 4mins 07secs and also cope with a fast couple of last laps. I am really looking forward to it."