JESSICA Judd ran one of the best races of her career so far at the Oslo Diamond League.
The 19-year-old from Canvey finished third in the 800m at the prestigious Bislett Games in a personal best time of 1m 59.77s.
It proved that Judd is well and truly back on track after a frustrating winter that saw her out injured with a fractured back for three months.
The time was an A-standard for the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
“I’m so happy,” said the Chelmsford AC athlete after the race. “I wanted to get the European A standard. My season didn’t start off well with the fractured back but everyone kept believing in me. My coach Rob (Denmark) and everyone around me has kept the faith and I’m so grateful.
“I have been telling everyone I will go under two minutes so much that I think I’ve probably annoyed them, but I’ve done it now.”
Judd only finished behind world champion Eunice Sum, from Kenya, and her nemesis, American Ajee Wilson, who has beat her in finals at both the World Youth and World Junior Championships.
Her time of 1m 59.77s shaved eight hundreths of a second off her previous best and sent her to the top of the national rankings.
The former Castle View School pupil admits she was a bit worried when she saw the size of the field and when she went through the first lap towards the back.
But she said she borrowed some tips from her younger sister Jodie to get her back in contention.
“I was really worried,” Judd laughed. “But I got the Judd elbows out, I’ve learnt that from my sister!
“It was the biggest and most talented field I have ever raced in. I knew I had to up my game. All the other British girls have run so well over 800m this year and I want to be up there with them.
“Now I can take this and go back to training and start preparing for the nationals (in two weeks).
“I was injured for the nationals last year and I want to go back and do well. Everything had gone really well up until then last year, hopefully it will be the reverse this time round.”