James shows his class on Great Britain debut

Published: 21 June 2011 at 10:45

Anglia Ruskin student finishes third in European Team Championships

Anglia Ruskin University student James Shane produced the performance of his lifetime to finish third on his senior Great Britain debut in the European Team Championships in Stockholm.

James, who is studying Primary Education in Chelmsford, claimed 10 points for the Great Britain team in the men’s 1,500m after clocking 3m 39.21s, just a tenth of a second outside his personal best set in Spain earlier this month.

“I’m really pleased with how it went, in fact it couldn’t have gone much better,”

said the 21-year-old from Basildon.

“To be honest, I was nervous before the race because not only was it was my debut for Great Britain but it was also a team event, so I didn’t want to let anyone down.

“Coming so close to a new personal best was a real bonus because races like that, where points are at stake for every place, are often very tactical and nobody wants to show their hand too soon.  However, somehow I ended up at the front fairly early on and I was able to do my own thing.”

The race was eventually won by the vastly experienced Manuel Olmedo, who represented Spain at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, although James held on in the closing stages to claim third place, 10 points and warm congratulations from Charles van Commenee, Head Coach of UK Athletics.

“Charles van Commenee had a word with me after my race and he told me that he thought I’d run really well and that I have a bright future ahead of me, which is encouraging to hear!”

added James, who is a member of Newham & Essex Beagles. 

“My target now is to keep my form going and keep improving over the summer.”

James is next in action in Bedford this weekend, where he is aiming to qualify for the European Under-23 Championships, which will be held in Ostrava, Czech Republic, from 14-17 July.