Commonwealth GamesSport

Herne Hill Harriers’ Katie Snowden qualifies for Commonwealth Games 1500m final

By Max Hall

Herne Hill Harrier Katie Snowden secured qualification for Sunday’s Commonwealth Games 1500m final despite the race not quite going to the plan agreed by the runners.

“It was kind of a weird one because we watched the heat before, and we saw heat one was quite slow, so we had a little chat and said, ‘let’s just make this quicker so more of us can go through,” said Snowden.

“But then it didn’t quite unfold as we were running. I thought we were going to take it on together, but no one really wanted to when the gun went.”

As a result, Snowden, who typically hangs back before kicking on late on, was in the front three for the entire race, forging into second on the first lap and leading for a while as the bunch stayed tight right into the home straight.

That meant a rapid final circuit and a sprint to the finish, which required a photo to separate the finishers behind winner Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda.

Snowden’s time of 4min16.09sec confirmed her as the second finisher and secured one of the five automatic spots on offer.

“I had to pace myself a bit more than I wanted,” said the 28-year-old. “I’m just happy to qualify, to be honest. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite that tight. When you’re running around, you can’t actually see a screen that easily, so it’s hard to gauge who’s still around you. I was running hard to the line to make sure I got that chequered flag.”

Snowden qualified for the final in the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, last month but finished down the field after preparations were disrupted by injury and Covid.

“One of the biggest things in Eugene was for me to go into it after not racing for five weeks,” she said. “I found that really difficult, but at least now I’ve raced out there and been more prepared.”

The Balham athlete was the latest to heap praise on a noisy Alexander Stadium crowd in Birmingham.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “I went to a Birmingham Diamond League earlier this season, so I got a little taste of it, but this is just the next level, isn’t it? It helps you so much because you have that extra lift when you’re running around. I really enjoyed it.”

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