After waiting in the wings of the global stage for so long, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Andy Pozzi burst through in Birmingham to become world indoor champions. Katarina took the pentathlon title, and Andy the 60m hurdles. Meanwhile, Laura Muir’s quest for global medals came to a satisfactory conclusion with a silver (1500m) and bronze (3000m) in a championship that saw more GB medals and exciting competitions in both field and track.
Kat’s quest for gold was helped along the way with a PB in the shot put (12.68m) and wins in the high jump, long jump and 800m. She finished on 4,750 points, a 50 point margin over Dadic. Andy Pozzi dominated the hurdles heats and semi-finals, but clattered at least one hurdle in the final on his way to a photo-finish with Jarret Eaton (USA). He took gold by 0.01s in a season’s best 7.46s.
Laura Muir’s campaign began on the first night of the championship taking 3rd place in the 3000m behind Dibaba and Hassan. The same three were in contention for the medals in the 1500m, this time with Laura getting the better of Hassan to win silver. After just missing medals in outdoor global championships, it was just reward for the tough Scotswoman.
Pozzi’s co-captain, Shelayna Oskan-Clarke also won a medal with a gutsy bronze in the 800m on the final day of competition. Similarly, Eilidh Doyle took bronze in the 400m, having earnt a place in the final after disqualification of another athlete in the semi. There were an inordinate number of DQs, particularly in the 400m races – so much so that in one men’s heat all the runners were disqualified.
The GB women’s 4x400m relay team also benefited from a DQ to take bronze, although they had to appeal a disqualification themselves. Eliot Giles was not so fortunate in the 800m final, having been awarded bronze after a US athlete was disqualified, but he was subsequently reinstated leaving Eliot in 4th place.
Another GB 4th place went to Morgan Lake in the high jump. She was left rueing early failures, after clearing the same height as silver and bronze. In fact there were a huge numbers of failures in the early stages of both men and women’s high jumps, which ran concurrently as the showpiece events on the first night of the championships. A fast surface and a different orientation of the jump beds on the sprint tracks may have contributed.
With many spectators being thwarted by the weather conditions, which meant they missed some or all of the championships, those who did make it were thrilled by high quality competitions. The men’s long and triple jumps saw record levels of distances; the women’s long and triple jumps were similarly competitive, as were the pole vaults and shot competitions. The men’s 4x400m relay saw a world record fall, not by the usual suspects, but by an on-fire Polish team
The final day of world indoors was tinged with sadness as the death of Sir Roger Bannister was announced, a sporting legend by dint of breaking one of the classic barriers – the 4-minute mile. There was prolonged gracious applause from an appreciative full-house.