Hazel sets new best

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March athlete Louise Hazel booked her place at the London 2012 Olympics when she set a personal best heptathlon points haul at the Erdgas Mehrkampf IAAF Combined Events Meeting on Sunday.

She needed a 6,000-plus points score to qualify for London. In the German leg at Ratingen of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge, Hazel finished seventh overall out of 14 competitors with 6,166 points, which beat her previous best of 6,156 when she won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year.

In her first heptathlon of the year and her fourth since October, the Great Britain athlete set an individual personal best in the 800m in a time of 2mins 15.36secs and equalled her best distance in the high jump (1.71m).

Ratingen was the scene of the first time Hazel passed the magic 6,000 points barrier. She has already qualified for the World Championships in South Korea at the end of August.

Hazel commented on her Facebook page: “Sweat, adrenalin, nerves, sandy bum, personal bests, big hugs, smelly pits, split toe nail, banter, bruised knee, more sweat, 800m cough, lactic acid, the cost = pain; securing the London Olympic A standard = priceless!”

On her return to Britain, the 25-year-old former Neale Wade student commented: “I went there hoping to break the 6,000 mark and then get my Olympic qualification at the World Championships. So I am over the moon to have got a personal best and the qualification for London 2012.

“I felt I was about 90 per cent so I am sure there is more to come from me in South Korea later this summer. I hit the first two hurdles so I know I can do better in the 100m hurdles, but I was really pleased to get the personal best in the 800 metres.”