European Cross Country: Laura Weightman relishing challenge

European Cross Country Championships

  • Venue: Belgrade, Serbia
  • Date: Sunday, 8 December

Coverage: Live on BBC Two from 12:00 GMT

Laura Weightman says Sunday's European Cross Country provides "a nice change" after a tough 2013 over 1500 metres.

Did you know?

Laura Weightman is coached by former 1500m British record-holder, World Champion and Olympic silver-medallist Steve Cram.

The 22-year-old Alnwick athlete enjoyed a breakthrough 2012 by first becoming 1500m national champion, and then reaching the London Olympic final.

But this summer she injured her foot at July's UK Trials and was eliminated in the heats of the World Championships.

She told BBC Sport: "It was a difficult summer, especially after such a great 2012 so cross-country's a nice change."

In May, Weightman improved her 3000m personal best to 8 minutes, 43 seconds - a staggering 21-second improvement.

However, that proved to be the highlight of her season as the fall she suffered in July effectively derailed her summer.

She will pick up her first Great Britain vest away from the track when she lines up in the Under-23 race in Serbia.

It is a championships Britain often dominates - last year they topped the medal table.

Weightman enjoying training full-time

"Psychologically, it was difficult season so the European Cross was something new to aim for," she admitted.

"My 3k time shows my endurance has improved a lot. I had wanted to race cross-country for a couple of years but I had a long-running ankle problem.

"It's sorted now and I'm excited to be doing my first international cross country as part of a really strong team with a great chance of medals."