Britain’s Pozzi strikes 60m gold in Belgrade

Britain's Andy Pozzi celebrates winning the men's 60-meter hurdles final.
Britain's Andy Pozzi celebrates winning the men's 60-meter hurdles final.
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Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi claimed gold in the 60 metres hurdles at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade.

The 24-year-old won in 7.51 seconds to clinch the first major medal of his career.

Pozzi, the world leader this year, breezed through his heat before beating second place Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and Petr Svoboda, who completed the podium positions, in the final at the Kombank Arena in Serbia.

Pozzi missed the whole of the outdoors season in 2014 with a foot injury having previously had foot surgery and battled a hamstring problem since 2012.

And the Loughborough-based athlete revealed he thought success might never come because of his fitness worries.

He said: “It’s everything, it’s just been so long. My first senior team was 2012 so it’s five years now. I haven’t really moved on from that because I haven’t been able to put the work in. This was the first time I was coming in having done all the work.

“At the toughest times and darkest days I always believed I had what it took to be a medaliist at major championships but there were loads of times when I didn’t know if it would actually happen.”

It was Great Britain’s first medal of the championships with Laura Muir having kept her hopes of double European glory on track.

The 23-year-old reached the final of the 3,000m and 1500m. She clocked eight minutes and 55.56 seconds – almost 30 seconds slower than her own European record – to finish fifth in her heat of the 3,000 metres before winning the 1500 metres in four minutes and 10.28 seconds.

British team-mates Steph Twell and Eilish McColgan will join her in Sunday’s 3,000m final after finishing second in their heats while Sarah McDonald qualified for the 1500m final.

Laviai Nielsen cruised into Saturday’s 400m final having finished second in her heat but Eilidh Doyle failed to progress past the semi finals.

Shelayna Oskan-Clarke also qualified for the 800m semi-finals, Lake Morgan reached the high jump final and Tom Lancashire will take his place in the men’s 1500m final.

Dan Bramble finished 12th in long jump qualifying after posting 7.64 metres, falling short of the 7.90 metres qualifying.