Flying start for Pozzi

10 March 2012 / 08:32

Britain's Andy Pozzi enjoyed a dream senior championship debut on Saturday with victory over his sporting hero in a new personal best.

Pozzi won his heat of the 60 metres hurdles at the World Indoors in Istanbul in 7.61 seconds, taking 0.01secs off his PB and beating 2004 Olympic champion Liu Xiang by the same margin.

The 19-year-old European junior silver medallist, who describes Xiang as his sporting hero in his UK Athletics profile, progressed to Sunday's semi-finals as the fastest qualifier.

"It was a really good race, a PB," Pozzi said. "I got a pretty good start. I didn't hit any hurdles and I wasn't put under too much pressure by Liu Xiang standing close to me so I'm very pleased.

"I'm in great shape, training's been going very well and it's a huge honour to be representing Great Britain so I'm feeling good."

Asha Philip and Jodie Williams also advanced to the semi-finals of the women's 60m, but both will need to make a marked improvement to progress any further. Philip was third in her heat in 7.37s and Williams was also third in the final heat in 7.40, leaving them joint 18th and joint 21st fastest overall respectively.

Britain's men eased into the final of the 4x400m relay as fastest qualifiers as they looked to build on the bronze medal won in Doha two years ago. Conrad Williams, Luke Lennon-Ford, Michael Bingham and Richard Buck combined to win their heat in three minutes 07.45 seconds, 0.02 quicker than the American quartet who won the opening heat.

Andrew Osagie punched the air in delight after reaching the final of the men's 800m, but team-mate Joe Thomas missed out. Osagie finished second in his semi-final to ensure qualification, but Thomas - who had set six personal bests in six races this winter - suddenly faded badly with 100m to go in the second semi and finished fifth.

Robbie Grabarz put in an excellent performance to reach the high jump final, clearing the first three heights at the first attempt and then 2.29m with his second, but team-mate Samson Oni could only manage to clear 2.22m to miss out.

And there was further good news in the women's long jump as Shara Proctor broke her own British record with a jump of 6.86m in the second round to reach Sunday's final.

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