TEENAGE middle-distance runner Jessica Judd revealed her pride at her summer’s achievements after racing in the European Championships 800m final.
The 19-year-old from Canvey finished seventh in the final in Zurich, which came just two weeks after she finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Judd said she could have done no more in Saturday’s final, which her team-mate Lynsey Sharp took by the scruff of the neck.
Only Maryna Asmarova could stick with Sharp with the Belarus athlete then kicking clear of the Brit in the final stages to win in 1m 58.15s. Judd gave it her all to hang on to the two leaders before running out of legs and finishing in 2m 1.65s.
“I gave it my all,” said Judd afterwards. “I couldn’t have done any more so I’m proud of that.
“I’m really disappointed now, but to make two finals this year is just a dream come true. I wish I could have ended it better but I couldn’t have done anymore.”
The final was Judd’s sixth race in a little over two weeks with three rounds in each in the Commonwealth Games and European Championships and the teenager, who is still eligible to compete in the junior ranks, admitted it may have been one race too many.
“This has been my 14th 800m of the year, so I’m not sure if I can do any more,” she said. “I just want to have some fun and enjoy it now.
“I didn’t want to have any regrets when I stepped off the track. Although I’m disappointed with how I finished, I couldn’t have done anymore and I gave it absolutely everything.
“I was really happy to make the final and I thought whatever happens after that was a bonus.”
Judd’s performances over the summer have been particularly impressive given she picked up a stress fracture in her back during the winter that put her out for three months.
And her room-mate in Zurich Laura Weightman, who won the bronze medal in the 1,500m, said people should not forget that, or the fact Judd is still only 19.
She told the BBC: “She has done so well after the stress fracture in her back. It’s been so good to see her come through so strongly.
“She’s so incredibly talented is Jess and she has a long future ahead of her, but I think people forget that she is just 19 and what she has achieved to date is absolutely incredible. She will go on to do bigger things in the future but this year has been a real year to learn how to race championships, to go through rounds.
“You go from junior to senior level and there is a big difference in the rounds, the stress and the pressures. It’s about learning to deal with that and I think she has done that well and it’s only going to help her in the future.”