Emanuel exorcises demons en route to European Indoor silver

07 March 2015 / 22:08

Lee Emanuel believes he exercised some demons after he clinched 3000m silver and brought the curtain down on a successful day for Britain's athletes at the European Indoor Championships in Prague.

Emanuel has struggled for form in recent years but the 30-year-old showed a true renaissance as he clocked a personal best time of 7:44.48 minutes to take silver behind Turkey's Ali Kaya.

The Turk broke away early and was in control for the duration – eventually setting a championship record of 7:38.42 – but Emmanuel dug deep to keep Norway's Henrik Ingebrigsten off his tail.

It is a medal that the 30-year-old has been working long and hard for after failing to qualify for London 2012 and he says that it is the first step on the road to next summer's Olympics in Rio.

“The 2012 trials were a real low point and I remember being on the track and wanting to cry but I had people who supported me and believed in me,” he said.

“Me and my coach started building and building and every year has got a little bit better and hopefully that can continue into the Olympics now.

“I was tiring really badly during that last 200m and that was probably the hardest race I've ever done in terms of the strain I was under.

“Luckily I had a little bit of room and I could almost relax down the home straight but it was a real struggle to get to the line.”

There was also a medal in the women's 400m where Seren Bundy-Davies fought through a battling field to take bronze.

The 20-year-old has flourished as an indoor runner of late having posted the continent's quickest time of the season in Birmingham last month when she ran 51.72 seconds.

And she showed that talent in abundance in the Czech Republic as she cruised through her heat and took third after a photo finish placed Spain's Indira Terrero ahead of her by 0.01 seconds – gold going to Ukraine's Nataliya Pyhyda.

“I know where I am now, so I'm happy but not as happy as I could be,” she said.

“I feel amazing and I think this is a big achievement for me indoors, as people know I'm not physiologically right and my running style isn't suited to indoors.So outdoors is going to be really exciting for me.”

Elsewhere, Jenny Meadows battled illness to book her spot in the 800m final but faced an anxious wait after she was eliminated but later reinstated when Russia's Anastasiya Bazdyreva was disqualified.

In the women's 60m Dina Asher-Smith was in imperious form as she blazed her way to victory in her heat with a personal best of 7.10 – Rachel Johncock also joining her in Sunday's semi-finals.

And in the men's event World Indoor Champion Richard Kilty will be looking for gold after sealing his place in the semi-finals with a time of 6.57 along with Chijindu Ujah who posted an identical time.

“It was very easy, I started to relax after the first 20 metres,” said Kilty.

“I didn't even get into my final gear so to run 6.57 is very, very promising. I'm just enjoying myself out there. It's great, and I'm hoping to continue to do that tomorrow.

“I wanted to remind people a little bit, but I thought that would be 6.60 with the effort I put into it. “There's massive improvements to come as long as I can keep enjoying myself and keep the same mentality.

“I'm really enjoying myself and I think I've got something to prove out here.

“The main thing is that I'm in good shape. Last year was the techinical improvements and this year I've got the technique and it's the physical improvements.”

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