In-form Mari Smith wins brilliant British Championship silver

Mari Smith has a big year on the track and off it as she enters the final two semesters of a masters degree EMN-190502-090731002
Mari Smith has a big year on the track and off it as she enters the final two semesters of a masters degree EMN-190502-090731002
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Exciting up-and-coming track athlete Mari Smith continued her stunning start to 2019 by landing a brilliant medal at the British Indoor Athletics Championships last weekend.

The 22-year-old ran a mature race in a slow and tactical women’s 800m final on Sunday to fight back and nick the silver medal in a time of 2min 05.68secs.

Mari Smith shows her delight after winning silver in Birmingham. Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images EMN-190213-121141002

Mari Smith shows her delight after winning silver in Birmingham. Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images EMN-190213-121141002

The result earned Smith a lane at this weekend’s Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham, as she attempts to secure a qualifying time for the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, in early March.

It was the latest impressive run from the Birmingham University student who had won on her overseas international debut for England, in Slovakia, just a fortnight earlier.

Smith, who grew up in Frisby, was drawn in a quick heat on Saturday, but claimed the last qualifying spot for the final as the second-fastest runner-up with a time of 2.05.44.

In the final, she showed confidence and comfort in elite company to bide her time at the back of the six-woman field through the first 400m.

On the third lap she upped the pace and moved into fourth on the back straight, but as the race went through the bell, the top three were already away and clear.

But Smith showed impressive power to close the gap, and moving into the finishing straight, the Birchfield Harrier passed the fading Lynsey Sharp before reeling in and taking silver from 2016 British champion Adelle Tracey at the line.