European Indoor Athletics: Muir wins second gold, Philip takes 60m title

European Indoor Athletics: Muir wins second gold, Philip takes 60m title

European Indoor Athletics: Muir wins second gold, Philip takes 60m titleEuropean Indoor Athletics: Muir wins second gold, Philip takes 60m title

Britain’s Laura Muir and Asha Philip won gold at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade.

Muir, 23, gained her second gold of the championships with victory in the 3,000m on Sunday following her 1500m win the previous day.

The Scot eased away from the rest of the field to break the championship record in eight minutes 35.68 seconds.

Philip, 26, set a new British record to win the women’s 60m final in a time of 7.06 seconds.

“I was not doubting myself,” Philip told BBC Sport. “I knew I had it in me and the confidence took me through the race.

“When I crossed the line, I could feel the girls on my left and I wasn’t sure – the camera came to me and I was like: ‘I don’t believe it unless you say my name.'”

Muir’s team-mate Eilish McColgan won bronze in the 3,000m, while Shelayna Oskan-Clarke was edged into silver by winner Selina Buchel of Switzerland in a thrilling women’s 800m final.

Robbie Grabarz took silver in the men’s high jump after losing a jump-off for gold against Sylwester Bednarek of Poland, with Lorraine Ugen also winning silver in the women’s long jump.

Eilidh Doyle, Philippa Lowe, Mary Iheke and Laviai Nielsen took silver in the women’s 4x400m relay behind Poland, who won four golds in total on the final day to top the medal table ahead of Britain.

A record-breaking double

Laura Muir
Laura Muir surged clear of the field to win the 3,000m and take her second European Indoor gold

Muir won her second major title in as many days by again setting a new championship record, having also beaten Dame Kelly Holmes’ British record in her 1500m victory on Saturday.

She became the first British athlete since Colin Jackson in Paris in 1994 to win two gold medals in individual events at a single European Indoor Championships.

This victory also makes Muir the first runner to win the 1500m and 3,000m double since Poland’s Lidia Chojecka at Birmingham 2007.

After keeping pace with Can out in the front for most of the race, Muir surged clear with just under two laps to go to win by almost eight seconds.

“It was my first time doubling up so I didn’t know how my body would cope – I was just hoping I could deliver and I’m delighted,” Muir told BBC Sport.

McColgan, 26, passed Maureen Koster of the Netherlands in the final stages to win her first senior medal, while team-mate Steph Twell finished fifth.

“Laura is so much better than the rest of us – I knew gold was gone, but it’s my first medal so I’m really chuffed,” said McColgan.


2000 Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis

With an athlete as confident as Laura Muir is, as in the groove as she is, she wasn’t going to settle for just winning.

This is a new Laura that we’re witnessing – a couple of years ago she was in tears wondering why she was making those mistakes.

But now her running is stunning – the strength, the power, the endurance and the confidence. She has no fear.

With Jessica Ennis-Hill retiring, we’ve been wondering who would take on that mantle of the queen of British athletics and Laura is that person.

For Eilish McColgan, her body dictated the change from steeplechase to 3,000m – she was spending more time on the physio bed than she was racing.

So to have a good winter and then come out to win her first medal makes me delighted for her – and I hope it’s the start of good things to come.

Asha the dasher

European Indoor Athletics: Asha Philip wins 60m gold in British record time

Philip set the fourth-fastest time in the semi-finals but stepped up for the final, setting a new European-leading mark this season.

Her victory completes a British double in the 60m following Richard Kilty’s gold on Saturday.

She is also the first British winner of the women’s 60m title since Beverly Kinch at Gothenburg in 1984.

Ukraine’s Olesya Povh took silver, 0.04 seconds behind, with Ewa Swoboda of Poland in third.

Philip’s gold medal stood after a Swiss protest against her victory was turned down.

Marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe paid tribute to the winner, saying: “Asha Philip personifies that tactic we need more of – bringing youngsters to championships like this and letting them take the step up, because it gives them a big boost going into the outdoor season.”

Oskan-Clarke loses thriller

Shelayna Oskan-Clarke
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke lost out to Selina Buchel in a dramatic 800m final

Oskan-Clarke, 27, battled with reigning champion Buchel throughout the 800m final, often clashing elbows, but failed to get round the Swiss athlete on the line.

The Briton set a new personal best time of 2:00.39, just 0.01 seconds behind Buchel in a photo finish.

“I was trying to be brave but it was probably a bit silly to go round the outside whereas if I’d sat behind I might have had that bit at the end – it’s just annoying,” Oskan-Clarke told BBC Sport.

“I am happy but to be so close to the gold, it is a bit disappointing.”

Poland’s Adam Kszczot took gold in the men’s 800m, with the Polish team also winning the men’s 4x400m relay in the final race of the championships.

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