Magnificent Muir leads GB medal rush with second gold

Magnificent Muir leads GB medal rush with second gold

03 March 2019 / 21:17
Laura Muir headlined a GB medal rush on the final evening of the European Athletics Indoor Championship as she made history by claiming her second gold in Glasgow in scintillating style.

Having romped to 3000m glory on Friday evening, Muir rounded out the Championships with an equally dominant 1500m triumph – becoming the first athlete to do a double-double at the European Indoors, having defended both titles she won in Belgrade in 2017.

The home favourite was one of two British gold medallists across the evening, as Shelayna Oskan-Clarke stormed to 800m glory.

There were also four silver medals added to the haul – Jamie Webb in the men’s 800m, Holly Bradshaw in the pole vault, Tim Duckworth in the heptathlon and the women’s 4x400m relay quartet.

That meant GB won 12 medals in total, their record haul at the Championships, and Muir was ecstatic to triumph once again after clocking 4:05.92 to beat second-placed Sofia Ennaoui by 3.38 seconds.

“I’m just so relieved. I set myself a big task this weekend, with a lot of pressure, but I’m so pleased I could deliver and get the double gold I set out for,” said Muir.

 “It’s very strange running in this atmosphere – it’s a bit louder than normal when I train here! It’s so special and I never thought I’d have another championships here in Glasgow on my home track, so it’s a bit surreal.

“It’s pretty special to do the double-double and I’m so pleased it came off.”

Shelayna sets the pace

For Oskan-Clarke, gold in the women’s 800m righted the wrongs of two years ago in Belgrade – when Selina Büchel pipped her on the line by just one-hundredth of a second and she had to settle for silver.

This time around, the 29-year-old set out hard and led from gun to tape as she clocked 2:02.58 to hold off the field, with compatriot Mari Smith coming fifth.

“I’m delighted. I was just so pleased when I got past the finish line and knew I’d won gold,” said Oskan-Clarke.

“I’d decided beforehand I’d wanted to go out to the front. I just had to keep pumping my arms and legs until the finish line.

“After Belgrade, I knew I was strong and that I had more to give. I knew I wanted to be out there early and hold on for home – that way you can have no regrets.”

Weaving a Webb

The men’s 800m provided the first British medal of the night as Webb – a science teacher by day – held off Irishman Mark English down the home straight to take silver, behind Alvaro de Arriba of Spain.

“I’m over the moon,” said Webb. “There were some big names in the final but my coach and my dad said ‘don’t give them any respect – they’re just people’.

“The crowd were absolutely unreal in the last 100m. I came to the home straight and I could hear them yelling – they carried me over the line.

“I’m absolutely buzzing. I’ve worked my socks off in the last year to really make something of it and it just shows there’s no excuse not to do something if you want it enough.”

Webb wasn’t the only Brit to taste silver as Bradshaw cleared 4.75m in the women’s pole vault but had to settle for second after a back-and-forth battle with Anzhelika Sidorova.

Duckworth then produced an incredibly gutsy run in the final event of the men’s heptathlon – the 1000m – to break his personal best by seven seconds and hang on to silver, finishing above Ilya Shkurenyov by 11 points, with Spaniard Jorge Urena winning gold.

Finishing on a high

And the evening was rounded out with a fourth British silver as the women’s 4x400m relay quartet – Laviai Nielsen, Zoey Clark, Amber Anning and Eilidh Doyle – finished behind the Polish team, although Doyle almost overhauled them on a remarkable anchor leg.

Elsewhere, Andrew Pozzi was unable to defend his 60m hurdles title as he finished sixth.

Pozzi took gold in Belgrade two years ago but has been battling a quad injury in recent weeks and hit multiple hurdles en route to a time of 7.68s as Milan Trajkovic took Cyprus’s first-ever European Indoors gold.

The GB quartet crossed the line fifth in the men’s 4x400m relay, Abigail Irozuru and Nathan Douglas finished seventh in the women’s long jump and men’s triple jump respectively, Robbie Fitzgibbon came eighth in the men’s 1500m and Morgan Lake was ninth in the women’s high jump.