LAURA Weightman insists she will use the experience of a first Olympic final to drive her towards an improved showing at next year's World Championships in Moscow.

Weightman finished 11th in last night's 1,500m final, a place behind team-mate Lisa Dobriskey as Turkey's Asli Cakir and Gamze Bulut secured a surprise one-two.

The Morpeth Harrier only turned 21 last month, and successfully achieved her pre-Olympic aim of qualifying for the final at her maiden major championships.

Having beaten both Dobriskey and Hannah England at the British trials, she is the future of women's middle-distance running, and this week's experience should stand her in good stead as she looks to make improvements over the winter.

“I'm really pleased with the way things have gone,” said Weightman, who was raised in Alnmouth and trains at Hexham. “To make the Olympic final and finish 11th in my first major championship, I can't really complain too much. “The whole experience has been brilliant, going through the rounds and experiencing the way in which these international-level races are ran. I'm just learning all the time and this has been brilliant for me.

“The worlds are the next big target. I just need to stay healthy and keep working hard and hopefully I'll get there and improve on this performance.”

Weightman settled herself at the back of the pack as last night's final began at a pedestrian pace, and was still in touch as the field remained bunched at the bell.

She avoided a crashing fall involving American Morgan Uceny, but became detached when Cakir and Maryam Jamal kicked for home.

She rallied in the final 200m though, and came home strongly as she eventually finished five seconds outside the medal spots.

“It was a tough race with a really slow early pace and then it picked up with about 600m to go,” said Weightman. “I gave it everything I had, I just couldn't quite stay with that pace. I'm not disappointed – I really enjoyed it out there and I think there's a lot more to come.

“I'm only 21 and I ran a PB to make the final. It's my first proper senior season without injury and I'm sure that over the coming years, I'll improve. If I get more training in my legs, I'll have the ability to deal with that change in pace when it heats up in the later rounds.”

The North-Easterner, who is trained by former Olympic silver medallist Steve Cram, is a student at Leeds Metropolitan University and will have to decide where to base herself when she graduates.

She will redouble her efforts over the winter, and given that she was the second youngest runner in yesterday's field, there should be scope for plenty of future improvement.

“ It's about developing my overall strength for the rounds, and developing a bit of a change of pace,” said Weightman. “It is there, but the rounds were hard and I really had to work hard just to get through the semi-final and make the final. I'm really pleased with how I've done and that improvement will come in the future.”

Dobriskey was a silver medallist at the 2009 World Championships and finished fourth in the last Olympics in Beijing, so was disappointed not to have finished any higher than tenth yesterday.

“I was expecting the pace to go a bit earlier and left myself too much to do,” said Dobriskey. “I was too far back. I knew the other girls were strong and it would have been a tough ask to have got a gold medal, but I am a bit dejected now.”