The excitement of the final day was there for all to see.
Stuart Weir wrote this piece on the successes of the British team on day four, and help put the performances of the home team into perspective. We thank Stuart for his humorous comments, his thoughtful analysis and his love of the sport. And thanks to all who came to Arena Birmingham, braving the cold of the first three days and the sunshine of the final day.
The GB team captains stepped up the mark on the final day of the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. First Shelayna Oaskan-Clarke picked up a bronze medal behind Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi) and Ajee Wilson (USA). Oskan-Clarke had spoken beforehand of the importance of setting a good example as captain. She was true to her word, running an astute race for an indoor PR of 1:59.81. She said afterwards: “I’m happy to have got a medal; I really had to dig deep for that one. It’s taken a while to get back into a final but you have to be positive and hope it will happen”.
Speaking of her race tactics she added: “You just have to be careful not to surge too much and tire yourself out. But the other girls did that so I did get a bit detached at one stage”. However she judged the race well, coming through strongly at the end.
Andrew Pozzi took gold in the 60m hurdles, to add to his European gold in 2017. In addition he had twice been a fourth-place finisher at the World Indoor Championships. He said of his weekend:
“My heart stopped there. I knew at the fourth hurdle I was behind. I can’t describe how much I wanted it; I threw everything at the line hoping to get there and I just about got there. This championship has been incredible. To be voted co-captain is the biggest honor of my life. Every single member of this team has just been perfect and I just delighted I could win gold for them.
“Every interview I’ve done this year I have said I was in good shape but I came in ranked 10th/11th in the world. But in training I have been running 7.4s so I just had to remain confident that it would happen in competition. I knew it was coming but I knew it would be so competitive.”
Britain also took a bronze in the women’s 4 by 400 relay – I do not have space to describe the shenanigans of disqualifications, appeals, counter appeals, Jury decisions, reversals of decisions that led to the award of the medal.
GB Performance Director Neil Black commented on the team’sperformance: “It has been a fantastic championship for the British team and I am delighted to see the team bring home seven medals and finish second in the placings table. I am particularly pleased with athletes converting their ability into medals on the world stage. Andrew Pozzi, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke are just some of those athletes have stepped up when it mattered and delivered outstanding performances. They have been inspirational to the rest of the team and that positive energy has been evident amongst the squad over these last few days which has been pleasing.
“There are some athletes who won’t be happy with their performances but they will have to learn from this experience and produce at championships later this season.”
Team GB finished with 7 medals
Andrew Pozzi Gold 60m hurdles
Katarina Johnson-Thompson Gold Pentathlon
Laura Muir Silver 1500m and Bronze 3000m
Eilidh Doyle Bronze 400 metres
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke Bronze 800
Women’s 4 by 400 metres Bronze