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Laura Finucane, GBR

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Full Name: Laura Finucane
Sex: Female
Age: 18
Event: Middle/Long distance, Cross-country
Club: Pendle AC 
University: Loughborough University
County: Lancashire
On Camp With Kelly


Finucane was an 800m finalist in this year's IAAF World Junior Championships after a nightmare semi-final experience, where the Norwich Union GB team returned from Italy without winning a single medal.

Finucane after being accidentally pushed to the ground was reinstated into the final by the jury of appeal who decided the incident was not her fault.

"I am sure Laura who is still only 18 and has time on her side, has the ability to make an impact at an even higher level," said Kelly Holmes.


On Camp with Kelly


IT IS an exciting time for Laura Finucane, who opened a new chapter in her life when she took up a place at Loughborough College last week.

The Pendle Athletic Club athlete from Colne recently celebrated her 18th Birthday with success in her A-levels, but in the last year she has also come of age as an athlete.

In July she reached the 800 metre final at the IAAF World Junior Championships and the opportunities that have flowed from that achievement means that she could spend as little as three weeks at college in her first term.

Later this month, Laura will going to Potchefstroom in South Africa for a four week training camp with double Olympic Champion Kelly Holmes.

Eight of the UK's leading under 20 female athletes will take part in the 'On Camp with Kelly' project at Holmes' major training base for the last eight years, which is located to the South-West of Johannesburg.

The athletes chosen have been identified as possible Olympic finalists in 2012.

Kelly Holmes planned the camp back in January and said: "I am as keen as ever to show the next generation of athletes all sides of being a full time athlete, both good and bad and hope that these girls will enjoy the experience and will return with a strong determination to succeed."

Sponsors Norwich Union added: "What Kelly is doing is providing an important stepping stone for the girls between grassroots athletics and elite level.

"It would be great to think that the camp might unearth another gold medal winner."

Laura's second trip of the autumn will be to Melbourne, Australia, to compete in the Commonwealth Youth Games.

As the fastest under 20 400m runner in Britain and the World No 2 17-year-old in the 800m she was given the choice of events. She chose the 800m, but she will also run the shorter distance in the relay.

She flies to Australia on November 25 to spend ten days acclimatising prior to the Games.

Before she left for Loughborough, she was presented with the first ever Rising Star Award at the Lancashire Sports Award Dinner at Ewood Park. 

To take the trophy, Pendle nominee Laura had to beat 13 other talented young borough nominees including Phillip Aspinall of Blackburn, Danielle Walker from Burnley, James Kevan of Chorley, Leigh Lennon from Hyndburn and Ribble Valley's Louise Highton.

Walker's father David paid tribute commenting that all the runners-up would be satisfied on this occasion to be second to Laura. She won a cash bursary of 700 to help her fulfil her sporting ambitions, which she intends to spend on kit and a new set of starting blocks.

Finucane's last competition of the season ended on a high note as she competed for her second club Sale Harriers of Manchester in the Junior European Clubs Championship.

At a windy Gateshead Stadium, she was third in the 200m as the team successfully avoided relegation from the top flight of European competition.

These words from Warburton spokesman Alan Beardsworth will be endorsed by everyone involved in local athletics. "We are particularly pleased to be able to support Laura - she is an exciting talent - and we wish her every success."

"I'm really looking forward to the trip with Kelly," said the Laura. "I know what she's been through in her career and what happened to me in Grosseto did toughen me up."



World Junior Champs 800m finalist Laura Finucane (Pendle AC) won the Lancashire Under 20 400m title in 54.8 seconds within three-hundredths of the European Juniors qualifying standard at Blackpool. The following day she added the 800m title in 2:04.3.


North of England Junior Championships,

In her first two-lap race of the season after some swift 400m races, Laura Finucane (Pendle AC) won the North of England Under 20 title in 2:04.36, more than six seconds clear of her nearest rival and comfortably under the European Juniors qualifying standard of 2:06.00.


AAA U20 Track & Field Championships

Pre-race: 800m (2:06.00): Defending Champion and current European Junior No.1 Laura Finucane (Pendle) heads the trio already under the qualifying standard Commonwealth Youth Games 1500m Champion Morag MacLarty (Central) and Abby Westley (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield) are the other two while the quality is so strong that Emma Jackson (Stoke) and Carolyn Plateau (Radley) have earned places at the World Youth Championships. Finucane went top of the European Junior rankings for the season with her 2:04.02 run at Solihull last Saturday.


2006-7 season

28th October UK Challenge Birmingham Senior 42nd