Nigel Levine admitted his delight at coming away from the British Indoor Championships with his fifth successive 400m title.
The London 2012 semi-finalist's pedigree was on display for all to see as he cruised across the line in 46.86 seconds – 0.19 seconds ahead of second-placed Jarryd Dunn.
Third went to Jamie Bowie but neither athlete was able to push Levine to his limits as the 25-year-old looked composed throughout to trot to victory.
And, with the European Indoor Championships coming up in Prague in March, and the World Championships in Beijing this summer, Levine admits it was the perfect way to kick off a busy year of competition.
“I’m so pleased to win that fifth successive gold at the indoors,” he said. “It really means a lot to me and puts in a good place going forward.
“I love running the 400m that’s what I’m here to do so I’ve had a really good day.
“I still do get a bit nervous at these Championships even though I’ve competed here quite a few times. I’d like to get a better time but this was my first indoor race for a while.
“I had to come in here cold turkey because it didn’t work out with some of the other competitions I’d planned to race in. This summer I just need to run a PB, it’s as simple as that.
“I know it sounds simple, I just need to run faster. It will take a lot of work but that’s something I’m willing to do and me I will work hard for it.”
While there were heroics from Katarina Johnson-Thompson in Saturday's high jump – where she broke the national record – there was no double gold for the hepthathlete who finished fourth in the women's 60m hurdles.
Johnson-Thompson came across the line with an indoor personal best of 8.25 seconds but that wasn't enough for a podium spot as Serita Solomon took gold, Lucy Hatton silver and Yasmin Miller bronze.
But the 22-year-old says she was more than happy with her showing across the weekend and it looking forward to an important period in his year.
“I’m really happy with that performance,” she said. “I’ve been stuck in the 8.40’s for a couple of years, and even running 8.35 in the heats I knew there was more to come.
“So I’ve never run as fast as I did in the final which bodes well. It was an incredibly fast race which I think is what I needed! I’m so happy with it and I’m finally in the 8.20’s.
“It’s always open in the finals, especially with the hurdles you never know what’s going to happen. All these girls are incredibly fast so to get that time is such a huge triumph for me.”
There was more success for Jenny Meadows as she comfortably won the women’s 800m in 2:01.43 minutes.
In the women's 3000m Emelia Gorecka saw off the challenge of Jessica Judd to take gold in 9:06.27 and Laura Muir showed her class to take gold in the 1500m.
Muir crossed in 4:13.06 and was 0.51 seconds quicker than her closest rival Alison Leonard who was second – Melissa Courtney taking bronze.
“I kind of thought the girls might go for it a bit more as they needed the times. So I knew I just needed to make sure I stuck at the front and then went for it the last 200m,” Muir said.
“I got the qualifying time for the Europeans in the outdoors last year, so I’ll be heading to Prague hoping to medal.
“Ranking-wise I’m certainly up there but it is a different thing on the day. I’d just love to get my first major senior medal and hopefully the Europeans will be that.”
“But ultimately I’m looking at trying to get to the worlds and to get to that final.”
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