Track star aiming to hit form

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lee emanuel
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Athletics ace Lee Emanuel is hoping to hit form on the big stage this weekend.

The St Leonards-based middle distance runner will contest the 1,500m in the Aviva UK Trials and Championships at

the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham.

Emanuel said: “My season’s not been going great to be honest. I’m not quite hitting the times I did last year, but I’m hoping for a bit of an improvement this weekend.”

Despite failing to truly get into his stride in 2011, Emanuel believes he is capable of figuring prominently at an event where competitors will be looking to qualify for the World Championships in Daegu.

“I still think I’ve got a chance,” continued the former William Parker Sports College student. “A lot of people are in my position, it’s as wide open as it’s been for years and anything can happen really.”

Based in the US for the most part, Emanuel ran a few races in the New York area before returning home six weeks ago. Since then he’s done a couple of events in Belgium, clocking 3.45 in one of them - eight seconds off his PB.

He went on: “It’s what everything’s been building towards, but I’m not really putting too many expectations on myself. I’m going in trying to give it my best shot, hopefully make the final and then go from there.”

Emanuel, who was due to travel up to Birmingham yesterday (Thursday), changed coach last September and is now working with Ron Warhurst in Michigan, focusing on his speed in the hope of finishing races strongly.

The 1,500m heats will take place tomorrow evening with the final rounding-off the meeting on Sunday. The Aviva UK Trials and Championships will be televised on the BBC.

Emanuel, a Sheffield Hallam University and University of New Mexico graduate who once turned out for Hastings Athletic Club, came fifth in the corresponding competition last year and second in 2009. He also represented England in the 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games in India last autumn.