8 March 2014
Richard Kilty (coach: Rana Reider) collected Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s first gold medal of the World Indoor Championships winning the 60m, while Tiffany Porter (Reider) claimed 60m hurdles bronze to take the medal tally to two for the team in Sopot, Poland.
After running personal bests in the opening two rounds, Kilty went quicker again in the final running 6.49 and in the process picked up his first major individual championship medal. The man from Teesside was lost for words as he reminisced on what he had achieved at the Ergo Arena.
“I can’t believe it, it’s unbelievable,” Kilty said. “This is a dream come true, my boyhood dream. I told my dad four years ago that I’d be a world champion and to think I’ve come out and done that, I feel like crying.
“After getting beaten my Nesta Carter in the semi-final, I went back with my coach and told me where I went wrong. I came and corrected it in the final ran the fastest time in the championships and became the world champion.”
Prior to Kilty’s gold medal-winning performance, Porter added bronze to the silver she won two years ago and despite by her standards a slow start, she was delighted to open GB & NI’s account running a season’s best of 7.86.
“It’s really bittersweet (to have won the bronze medal). I’m really happy and thrilled to have bought a medal home for GB & NI because you never take that for granted.
“I know I gave up a lot in that start and it’s a little disappointing not to execute your best race, but I’m very happy and looking forward to the outdoor season. I like to pride myself on performing when it matters most.”
Earlier in the day, six athletes and both 4x400m relay teams made it through their respective heats. William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) and Andrew Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold) came through the first round of the 60m hurdles in style, with Sharman clocking a personal best of 7.59 and Pozzi running 7.56, the joint fastest time in all three heats.
“It was a great start but I feel sorry for my roommate Jamie Bowie having to get up at 6.30am with me,” admitted Pozzi. “It’s always tough being in lane one with the faster guys on the other side of the track from me so I was a bit concerned about that. For me I was just focusing on my race and get a good start. It was a good first round and I couldn’t have asked for much more.”
Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker) went through her opening 60m heat in first place in 7.18, while GB & NI’s youngest member of the team Sophie Papps (Dan Cossins) equalled her personal best of 7.22 to advance to the semi-finals.
“I’ve got the first run out of the way,” Philip admitted. “Hopefully my legs will be fresh tomorrow and I should be good.
GB & NI debutant Papps was delighted to secure her place in the next round and believes that there is plenty more to come from her in tomorrow’s semi-final.
“I feel really good. Technically I think my race was good so I can’t complain about it. The start we can improve for the next round. I’m hoping I can go out for the next race and push it,” said Papps, who is part of British Athletics’ Futures Programme.
Both 4x400m relay teams topped their respective heats and qualified comfortably for the final. The men’s quartet of Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), Michael Bingham (George Williams), Jamie Bowie (Piotr Haczek) and Luke Lennon-Ford (Christie) maintained a lead throughout and eased over the line in a season’s best of 3:06.09.
Bingham said: “It’s a huge pressure off (reaching the final); qualification is always the hardest part. After that in the next round you just compete and whatever happens, happens. I’m excited for tomorrow as are the other guys.”
The women’s team followed the same example with GB & NI captain Eilidh Child (Arnold) giving the lead to Shana Cox (George Williams) before sisters Victoria and Christine Ohuruogu (both Lloyd Cowan) bought the baton home in another season’s best of 3:30.60.
Reflecting on the performance, Christine Ohuruogu said: “This year was about putting in an experienced team we are defending world champions so it was really important we put girls who know how to run indoors and are confident. All we can do is defend our title.”
After securing the final spot in the 60m final, Dwain Chambers (Reider) was just one hundredth off the medal positions finishing in sixth and graciously admitted that the better man won on the day.
Chambers said: “Richard did a great job, held his nerve and kept it together. He ran a great race and a fantastic time. I’m just doing what I can to keep up with these boys these days and the better man won.
Shara Proctor (Reider) and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) successfully navigated their way through to the long jump final after jumps of 6.69m and 6.60m left them in third and sixth place respectively.
British pole vault record holder Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) had three failures at 5.75m finishing in eighth place, in an event won by Greece’s Konstadinos Filippidis.
After three failures at 2.28m in the men’s high jump, Birmingham-based duo Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) and Tom Parsons (Aston Moore) bowed out of the competition at the Ergo Arena.
The IAAF World Indoor Championships on 7-9 March will be televised live on the BBC at the following times:
Saturday 8 March
09:00 - 11:30 & 17:10 - 20:30 BBC Two
10:30 - 13:00 BBC Red Button
Sunday 9 March
14:00 - 18:00 BBC Two