7th March 2021
TRIO PROGRESS IN 60M HURDLES SEMI-FINALS
Andrew Pozzi (coach: Santiago Antunez; club: Stratford-upon-Avon), Tiffany Porter (Jeff Porter; Woodford Green Essex Ladies) and Cindy Sember (Jeff Porter; Woodford Green Essex Ladies) all safely progressed into the final of the 60m hurdles on the final morning of action at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Torun, Poland.
Having qualified fastest for the semi-finals with a 7.52s run in the heats, Pozzi showcased his credentials for a medal once again with another clean run, stopping the clock in 7.53s, easing down off the final hurdle with his place in the final assured.
The 2017 European Indoor champion got out well and despite hitting the third hurdle, put together another polished performance to cross the line in first place with the second-fastest time of the session, second only to France’s Wilhem Belocian.
After the race, he said: “I was pleased. I pushed hard and it felt like a good run. I hit one [hurdle] in the middle a little bit. The start wasn’t quite as smooth as I wanted, but I feel good. I feel like I can tighten it up for the final.
“I’m just looking forward to that now. Hopefully I can get another tenth of a second, so we’ll see. It’s all about good technique. I’m physically in good shape and I’ve got good speed, so it’s just about being efficient through the race.”
In the women’s 60m hurdles, sisters Porter and Sember ensured there would be British representation in tonight’s final as they took second places in their respective semi-finals to progress.
After a false start on the first attempt at getting underway, Porter surged away at the second time of asking, putting together a strong run, stopping stop the clock in 7.98s, good enough for second position and an automatic qualification spot for the final.
Despite a slower start than she wanted, it was a clean race from Porter who eased over the hurdles and cruised to the line for second place behind Nooralotta Neziri (FIN), who claimed first spot in 7.97s.
After the race, Porter assessed: “The false start beforehand affected me more than it should have, I know better than that. That start wasn’t as good as the one before, but it’s ok. I had a really good finish and I made it to the final and that’s all that matters at this point.
“I’ve got to keep it clean. I’ve got to not do what I did there because that’s not acceptable, but I’m very confident for the final.”
Sember also had to contend with a false start in the second semi-final, but quickly put it out of her mind and blasted away to equal her personal best of 7.89s for her fastest time since 2016.
She got away strongly and was stride-for-stride with defending champion Nadine Visser (NED) over the first three hurdles, finishing strongly to take second spot behind the Dutchwoman and ensuring double British representation in the final.
“It’s nice to get back to that place [before injuries]. I’m feeling very good and quite good off my feet, so I’m feeling confident. I needed some good performances to get my mind-set back to where it needed to be, so this is really good, I’m excited.
“It would be so great [to have both of us on the podium]. Tiffany is such a great athlete and I’m really excited to see what both of us can do in this final.”
British medallists at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland:
Amy-Eloise Markovc (women’s 3000m)
Holly Archer (women’s 1500m)
Verity Ockenden (women’s 3000m), Jodie Williams (women’s 400m), Holly Bradshaw (women’s pole vault)