Barnstaple’s Phil Norman was in action at the Muller British Athletics Championships on Saturday.

Competitors cross the water jump during the Men's 3000m Steeplechase during day one of the Muller British Athletics Championships at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Picture: David Davies/PA WireCompetitors cross the water jump during the Men's 3000m Steeplechase during day one of the Muller British Athletics Championships at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire

The 28-year-old finished sixth in the 3000m steeplechase at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

He finished with a time of 8mins, 50.19secs – 17 seconds behind race winner Zak Seddon.

Norman said he was disappointed with how the race went for him.

“I was hoping to get a medal, so I was a bit disappointed with my run, coming in sixth,” he said.

Competitors cross the water jump during the Men's 3000m Steeplechase during day one of the Muller British Athletics Championships at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Picture: David Davies/PA WireCompetitors cross the water jump during the Men's 3000m Steeplechase during day one of the Muller British Athletics Championships at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire

“I got in amongst it and into the right positions, and ran a tactical race, but in the last kilometre when the pace increased, the legs just weren’t there, and I didn’t have anything to respond.”

A top two finish would have given Norman a place at the European Championships in Berlin next month, and achievement he thought was within his reach.

“The Europeans weren’t really a long shot,” he said.

“Going into Saturday I was only three seconds outside the automatic qualifying time, and the top two are automatically in the GB vest. It was achievable, but I’m not quite there.

Competitors cross the water jump during the Men's 3000m Steeplechase during day one of the Muller British Athletics Championships at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 30, 2018. See PA story ATHLETICS Birmingham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA WireCompetitors cross the water jump during the Men's 3000m Steeplechase during day one of the Muller British Athletics Championships at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 30, 2018. See PA story ATHLETICS Birmingham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire

“I was in better shape than what I showed, and I think the heat played a part, but perhaps there’s something not quite there in my training that meant I wasn’t able to go with the other guys.”

It’s been a busy start to the season for Norman. He finished second at the Loughborough International in May, and recorded a personal best time of 8:35.47 at the European Classic meeting in Huelva last month.

He’s also taken back-to-back double wins in the British Athletics League, winning the steeplechase and 1500m in both Cardiff and Leigh.

RESULT - 3000m Steeplechase: 1, Zak Seddon 8mins 33.12secs; 2, Ieuan Thomas 8:33.88; 3, Jamaine Coleman 8:38.17; 4, Jonathan Hopkins 8:41.45; 5, Ryan Driscoll 8:45.62; 6, Phil Norman 8:50.19; 7, Doug Musson 8:53.46; 8, Mark Pearce 8:56.45; 9, Daniel Jarvis 9:17.61; 10, Alex Howard 9:21.52; 11, Tom Horton DNS; 12, Lachlan Oates DNS.