Laura Muir leads the way as young British squad claim ten medals at European Indoor Championships

Laura Muir leads the way as young British squad claim ten medals at European Indoor Championships

Laura Muir claimed two gold medals, with Andrew Pozzi, Asha Philip and Richard Kilty doing likewise

Tom Hiscott

Laura Muir led the way with two golds as Great Britain finished second in the medal table at the 2017 European Indoor Athletic Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

The 23-year-old middle-distance runner stormed to victory in both the 3000m and 1500m events, with Asha Philip, Richard Kilty and Andrew Pozzi joining her atop the podium thanks to their sprint triumphs.

Ahead of a big year for the British team with the World Athletics Championships heading to London in August, the young team produced the goods to complete the indoor season with a strong showing.

Muir dominates to claim golden double

After her breakthrough season in 2016, lots is expected of Laura Muir who is being billed as the next big thing in British athletics. A national record over 1500m outdoors in the Paris Diamond League meeting last season set the standard and she headed to Belgrade hoping to double up.

Her first gold was secured on Saturday evening at the Kombank Arena, when she finished with a Championship Record time of 4:02.39 to finish clear of Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Germany) and Sofia Ennaoui (Poland) thanks to a stunning final 300 metres.

The Scot then returned on Sunday to capture 3000m gold, in another Championship Record time of 8:35.67. Muir was running alongside eventual runner-up Yasemin Can for much of the race before surging clear over the final 400 metres to complete her golden double, with Eilish McColgan grabbing bronze for Britain.

With talk of attacking the 1500 & 5000 metre races in London later this year, Muir has proven to herself that she can compete on two fronts at one meeting and a potentially historic year lies in wait.

Philip and Kilty claim 60metre titles, with Pozzi hurdling to gold

Over the shorter distances, Britain ruled the roost too, with Richard Kilty and Asha Philip taking gold in the 60 metre sprints. Kilty defended his European crown with a time of 6.54, finishing fastest in all three rounds of the competition to add to his growing list of indoor titles.

Philip made it a British double over the shortest distance, taking gold in the women’s event in a time of 7.06. Philip, who was part of Team GB’s 4x100 bronze medal team at the Rio Olympics took became the first winner British winner in this event since 1984.

Andrew Pozzi in action in Belgrade (image source: Srdjan Stevanovic)

GB’s first gold came on Friday evening in the men’s 60m hurdles, when Andrew Pozzi claimed his first senior title with a strong run in the final. The European Leader qualified fastest for the final, before pipping France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde to gold by 0.01 seconds despite an erratic run which saw him hit a couple of the hurdles.

Robbie Grabarz took silver in the high jump, while Shelayna Oskan-Clarke missed out on gold in the women’s 800m following a photo finish. Lorraine Ugen jumped a British Record to also take silver in the women’s long jump, finishing behind home favourite Ivana Spanovic who jumped over seven metres, including 7.24 – the third longest of all time indoors – to thrill the Serbian crowd.

To finish the competition for Britain, a team of Eilidh Doyle, Philippa Lowe, Mary Iheke and a breakout star Laviai Nielsen claimed silver behind Poland in the women’s 4x400 metres.