Chris O'Hare considered quitting athletics six months ago but refused to go away in the men's 3000m in Glasgow, storming to a stunning silver at the European Indoors.
The middle-distance runner finished ninth in the 1500m at the European Championships last summer and admits that pushed him to the edge – but he showed off his battling qualities in front of a home crowd.
The 28-year-old, who raced in the 1500m at Rio 2016, was a distant third with just one lap remaining but leapfrogged Henrik Ingebrigtsen on the final stretch to upgrade to silver.
Henrik’s brother Jakob took gold, while O’Hare crossed the line in 7m57.19s to add to the 1500m bronze he won in Prague four years ago and credited his family for getting him to the start line.
“After the European Championships last year, I was in a dark place and if it was not for my wife, my son and my parents then I would have given up,” he said.
“I was sat on a wall in Berlin [at the Europeans] and I thought it was not worth it. I had been away from my wife and son for three months and I did not think it was worth it.
“A couple of weeks went by and you get back into it. But it is not an easy thing to come back after disappointment after disappointment.
“With 200m to go, I looked back and thought I have bronze but I will give everything to get up there with Henrik.
“It took everything just to get on his shoulder and then round the bend the place erupted. That picked me up.
“Every medal is different. I got my first two as a rookie on the scene but now I am old. It has been four years of hard work.”
Elsewhere, in the women’s 60m defending champion Asha Philip claimed bronze and just edged out teammate Kristal Awuah by one millisecond.
Philip crossed the line in 7.15s, just 0.06s off champion Ewa Swoboda and veteran Dutch athlete Dafne Schippers.
“To come here and get a medal is pretty special. Obviously everyone wants to win gold but that was a bit beyond me, but I am still thrilled to get a medal,” she said.
“I was so upset to beat Kristal and get that medal! She is such a talent, to set a new personal bets in the final is amazing. The future is hers.”
In the men’s final, there was heartbreak for two-time winner Richard Kilty as he finished fourth – just 0.04s off bronze – with Ojie Edoburun seventh, while in the men’s high jump Chris Baker also finished fourth.