Kilty silences doubters with European Indoor gold

08 March 2015 / 19:49

Richard Kilty believes he proved the doubters wrong after the sprinter added European Indoor gold to his world title on the final day of action in Prague.

The 25-year-old was brimming with confidence as he breezed through his heat on Saturday and carried his imperious form into Sunday morning's semi-final.

After watching Chijindu Ujah clock 6.57 to make it to the weekend's showpiece Kilty showed why he is world indoor champion by crossing the line at a canter in 6.53 seconds.

That run set up a mouth-watering finale that would see Kilty and Ujah go head to head for the European crown.

But it all went wrong for the youngster Ujah who was too hasty out of the blocks and paid the price with disqualification.

As the distraught 21-year-old departed the track Kilty composed himself and gave the rest of the field no chance to take gold in 6.51 – Germany's Christian Blum crossing 0.7 seconds behind.

And the Teesider thinks he has finally proved that he is a force to be reckoned with.

“I came out here and I'm a fearless competitor and I knew going into this that I could take the victory and I had no doubt whatsoever,” he said.

“A few people have called me a one hit wonder and counted me out again and I don't think they should do that again.
“I'm stronger and have a bit more muscle, we didn't train purely for indoors but you could see if I ran through in the semi-final I could have ran about 6:45.

“In the final because of the false start I had to sit back in the blocks with delayed reaction time which made me a little bit tight over that first 30 but I pulled away.

“It was an absolute honour to come out here and take the gold and I'm absolutely buzzing.”

There was more 60m success for Britain in the women's final where Dina Asher-Smith backed up the hype to finish with a silver medal and equal the national record.

In a stacked field the 19-year-old found herself sandwiched between two of the best in the business in the final standings after holding off the challenge of former European 100m champion Verena Sailer who had to settle for bronze.

However, while Asher-Smith's time of 7.08 was quick, current European 100m champion Dafne Schippers was quicker as she crossed in 7.05.

But there was nothing but elation from Asher-Smith who could barely contain her delight at her performance.

“I'm so happy. I'm just so, so happy. It’s a bit surreal right now. I'm really happy that I've managed to get a PB in the final, that never happens to me,” she said.

“I wasn't expecting to (equal the national record). To equal it I'm over the moon. In the race I was thinking run for your life.”

In the men's 1500m there was a bronze for Chris O'Hare who posted a season's best time of 3:38.96 in a dramatic final that saw home favourite Jakub Holusa pip Turkey's Tanui Ilham Ozbilen at the line.
And while the men's 4x400 metre relay team struggled to make an impact in the weekend's final event, there was success for the women who took silver.

Kelly Massey led the quartet out of the blocks but struggled to make headway in a combative field.

But 400m bronze medallist Seren Bundy-Davies showed why she is such an exciting talent with a stellar second leg that brought the Brits right back into contention.

That left Laura Maddox with the chance to attack and, while Kirsten McAslan couldn't make up enough ground on the French, she was able to keep Poland at bay and claim silver.

“Great, fantastic, it's so exciting to be with the team! It was intense and competitive and we were all serious about wanting to get a medal,” said Maddox.

“I enjoyed the whole experience, first championships and as for getting a medal, I'm absolutely over the moon!”

That medal rounded off a strong showing from the British team in the Czech Republic and placed them third in the medal table with two golds, four silvers and three bronzes – Russia and France finishing first and second respectively.

© Sportsbeat 2015