Chen smashes personal best as she weighs up trials tilt

Jess Chen during the under-20 women's 1,500m. Picture: Sarah Standing (121656-3984)
Jess Chen during the under-20 women's 1,500m. Picture: Sarah Standing (121656-3984)
James Baker showed his class to win the Gosport Half Marathon. Picture: Neil Marshall

Baker ends his wait as he takes Gosport crown

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Jess Chen is riding the crest of a wave.

After shooting to the top of the national rankings at 5k last weekend – courtesy of a fine run at the Olympic stadium – Chen switched to the 1,500m for speed work at the Hampshire Track & Field Championships.

And the talented teenager ran 4mins 39.74secs to shatter her personal best (PB) and finish second in the under-20 women’s event behind Chloe Turmel.

‘I’m quite pleased – it was a bit of race speed for me,’ she said.

‘I haven’t done a serious 1,500m for a couple of years and was just hoping to get a PB which I did.

‘I think I got an eight second PB in the end.

‘It was going to be quite fast because I am used to 5k pace but I felt quite strong.’

Chen’s 5k time of 16:36.20 in the British universities event in London last week has her comfortably at the top of the junior rankings.

It also saw talk of an appearance at the Olympic trials.

But Chen, who added the county under-20s 3k title in a time of 9:49.30 yesterday, is keeping her feet on the ground.

She added: ‘I was really, really pleased and I feel I can push on for a few more seconds off that time.

‘I probably could get into the trials but I need to discuss it with my coach.

‘This is my last year as a junior and it is a senior event, so we are not sure whether I should enter.’