OXFORD’S Hannah England could not hide her excitement after winning a silver medal in the World Athletics Championships yesterday.

The 1,500m runner admitted that her main objective coming into the games, in Daegu, South Korea, was just to reach the final.

But she shattered those expectations with a stunning run that saw her power past five rivals in the home straight to snatch silver in a time of 4mins 5.68secs, just 0.28 seconds off gold.

And the 24-year-old Oxford City athlete admitted it was a day to savour.

“It sounds great (being World silver medallist),” she said. “I’m so, so excited.

“I just wanted to do as well as I could and I told myself that every position counted.

“I’m really chuffed the way that I managed to execute the last 200m. I didn’t panic, I just managed to run as fast as I could”

An ecstatic England added: “I was so calm in the last 200m.

“It was only coming down the home straight I realised the others were tying up, apart from Jenny of course. I was like ‘what’s going on’?

“I knew I had a strong last 100m. I was hoping I’d get a gap on the inside, but ended up going really wide.

“It was such a weight off my shoulders making the final because I knew I was capable of that. But honestly I never thought I was capable of this.”

England ran much more positively than in the heats, settling in fifth place for the majority of the race.

However, she was lucky not to be brought down on lap three when Morgan Uceny and Maryam Jamal fell right in front of her – England’s quick reactions causing her to lose minimal ground.

She still had plenty to do at the final turn, but her burst proved enough.

“I did my fair bit off pushing and shoving, and knew it was going to be fairly physical and that no-one was going to give an inch, but I just cannot believe what has happened.”

England will receive her silver medal today.

And England’s second place helped Great Britain go on to record their first gold medal of the championships.

Welshman Dai Greene stormed to world 400m hurdles gold, and then said that England’s run had inspired him.

“I saw Hannah England running around with the flag, and thought I had to get a piece of that action,” Greene said.

  • Hannah England’s rise to fame: See tomorrow’s Oxford Mail