Bristol and West’s two leading middle distance runners Richard Peters and David Bishop have staked their claim for Commonwealth Games selection by posting the second and fourth fastest outdoor UK 1,500 metre times this year in Los Angeles. Competing in a world class line-up at the USA High Performance Middle Distance Classic on the Occidental College track, Peters clocked 3:38.83 in eighth place, with Bishop close behind in tenth in 3:39.27.
“I was pleased with the time as it was only my second race of the new season and I had been suffering with a chest infection the previous week which has left me with an irritating cough,” said Rich. “I have done all the background training for the coming season and felt really strong in my running, but not surprisingly perhaps lacked race sharpness and the change of pace needed on the last lap, which was covered in only just over 54 seconds by the winner US champion Matt Centrowicz .”
Dave Bishop felt the same as he was also having only his second race of the outdoor season, but unlike Peters his time was well inside the Scotland qualifying mark of 3:42 and should surely have clinched his selection alongside last year’s top ranked UK1,500 metre runner Chris O’Hare.
Rich Peters’ chance now lies in the hands of the selectors as he now switches his focus to prepare for next month’s NCAA championships before returning to the UK in mid-June. While the pair of them will be vying with each other at the UK trials for the subsequent European championships, Peters is competing for a place in the England team at the Commonwealth Games, while Bishop is in line for a call-up by Scotland. The two frontrunners for England selection Charlie Grice and Lee Emmanuel were also in the Los Angeles race, but while Grice almost certainly clinched his place by finishing fast to take fourth place in 3:36.31, UK indoor 1,500 metre champion Emmanuel did nothing to boost his chance by failing to finish only two weeks before the selectors meet.
Mike Down Reports