SOLIHULL middle distance runner Claire Tarplee has been competing against the best in the world at the European Indoor Athletics Championship in Gothenburg last weekend.
The youngster, who launched her running career aged eight at the Norman Green Track in Solihull, competed for Ireland after hitting the qualifying time at the XL Galen meeting in Stockholm, achieving a personal best in the process.
Competing in the 1500 metres, Claire was drawn in the 3rd heat where she ran a controlled race moving through the field in the latter stages and finishing a very commendable fourth only 0.38secs from qualifying for the final.
Prior to that the Solihull & Small Heath AC runner had competed against the likes of Genzebe Dibaba and Hannah England in the British Athletics Grand Prix at the Birmingham NIA, also over 1500m.
Dibaba was the clear winner but Claire had a very close race with Hannah England and Claire only lost out to her in the last 50 metres.
At the UK Indoor Championships & European Trials in Sheffield Claire clocked the fastest time over 1500m in the UK & Ireland this year.