Sabotage: Richard Kilty fears indoor title defence was spiked in Sheffield

SPRINTER Richard Kilty has questioned whether his attempt to defend his European Indoor Championships title was sabotaged.
Middlesbrough's Richard Kilty. Picture: Martin Rickett/PAMiddlesbrough's Richard Kilty. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA
Middlesbrough's Richard Kilty. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

The reigning 60metre champion, from Middlesbrough, lost his spikes just before last week’s final at the Indoor Trials in Sheffield and was disqualified for a false start.

At the time Kilty admitted responsibility for the start, but after coming third at the Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday he revealed the extent of his previous problems.

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He is well within the qualifying time of 6.74 seconds but did not earn an automatic pick for the squad in Belgrade because he failed to finish in the top two in Sheffield.

And he wondered whether his attempt had been deliberately derailed.

“Potentially, yeah, I don’t know. Next time I’ll know to bring two pairs of spikes and lock them up,” Kilty said, when asked if it could have been sabotage.

“This week I’ve been so nervous. There are a few things I didn’t want to bring up last week – my spikes were stolen from the call room. I didn’t want to make any excuses then because I wanted to make sure I came out here.

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“Everything was going smoothly, I headed to the call room and my spikes weren’t there. The physios tipped up every bed and every bag and they weren’t there. My mind was going a million miles an hour and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to run.

“I was thinking ‘what’s happening?’ I’m not going to be able to defend the title. I had a Nike pair which I was giving to Luke Lennon-Ford but they were a size-and-a-half too big. I strapped them on and everything was running through my head. I was on the marks confused and I came out the blocks. I was confused.”

The squad for Serbia is selected today, with Kilty still expected to be included.

Sir Mo Farah broke his own European 5,000 metres record in Birmingham as he signed off his indoor career in style.

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The four-time Olympic champion won in 13 minutes and 9.16 seconds and followed the example of Scottish rising star Laura Muir, who set a new indoor 1,000m European record earlier by winning in two mins 31.93 secs.

Farah is planning to transfer to road racing after August’s track World Championships in London and believes his efforts in Africa proved the difference.

He said: “I can’t quite believe it is my last race but I have had a great indoor career.

“It is weird thinking about it and saying goodbye because I have had great support from everyone and in particular this track where I have broken so many records.”

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David Dempsey (Sheffield University) won the 800 metres at the British Universities Indoor Championships at Sheffield’s EIS at the weekend.

Dempsey, who runs for City of Sheffield and Dearne, posted the fastest heat time of 1:53.02 marking himself as favourite for the final and he did not disappoint, prevailing in a close finish in 1:52.4. Dempsey kept out of trouble and moved through the field on the last lap only hitting the front some 10 metres from the finishing line.

There was a win for Sheffield Hallam student Alicia Barrett in the 60 metres hurdles. The Chesterfield athlete got progressively faster through the heat, semi-final and final to record a tremendous time of 8.26 to miss the championship record by just one hundredth of a second.

Not long back from competing in Australia, where he cleared 5.50, Adam Hague (Sheffield Hallam) could not reproduce that performance in the pole vault and finished runner-up to close rival Charlie Myers (Northumbria) who cleared 5.40 with Hague recording 5.30