Stuart Weir wrote the following piece on Laura Muir’s fine win over 3000m on Friday night. This was part 1 of her double, and the end of two races on day one for the Scottish star.
Gold for Laura Muir
Britain’s talisman (taliswoman?), Laura Muir duly did the business. Running the 3000m final barely two hours after her 1500 prelim she controlled the race and won in a championship record of 8:30.61, more than three seconds ahead of Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen. Britain’s Melissa Courtney ran a PR of 8:38.22 for third. Muir tucked in behind Klosterhalfen for most of the race before making her move on the final 400 metres.
Muir, who studied at Glasgow University, said afterwards: “As soon as I walked out into the arena, I felt like Â´yeah, this is homeÂ´. I have run on this track hundreds, if not thousands of times, so I just felt as if I could do what I normally do here, and that was enough to win. rrrr
“The race went off maybe a little bit quicker than I would have liked and I had to put that bit more work in than I would have liked, but I was still comfortable. It was going at a good pace and then Klosterhalfen really ramped it up and I thought I was just going to have to hang on as best I could and in the last 200m I put the welly down [I think she means she put her foot on the gas!] and knew I had to run as fast as I could to the line.”
“To break the Championship record and get a world lead I was so chuffed. In a way, it was so nice to have the [1500m] heat and see what the atmosphere was like and on the start line with the reception I was like ‘woah’, it overwhelmed me a little bit but it prepared me well for the final.
“The fans were crazy on that last lap. I thought I had quite a lot of pressure in Berlin but here being an ambassador for the event and saying I was going to do the double. I’ve not done a competition where things have been so close together with the final and the heat before. So I thought how am I going to rest and recover and the girls didn’t make it easy for me today and I was so glad coming through the heat and then the final tonight.
“To be here and being defending champion for the first time and having that bib on, with so many friends and family watching it was amazing. My Mum, my Gran and all the aunties, uncles and family friends were here. It was hard to get them all tickets. My grandma was here watching and she always misses the races that I medal in, but she isn’t there when things don’t quite go so well so it was really nice to deliver today, it will be the first time she’s seen me win a championship medal.
“Now I will try and recover before the 1500m final — lots of ice baths, massage and rest. But IÂ´ve got about 40 hours, so I know should be fine”.
Inevitably all the Scottish attention was going to be on Muir but Melissa’s Courtney’s was also a magnificent run, ending in a PR and bronze medal. She commented: “You know I kept getting myself in the wrong position all the time and all I could think was my coach is watching this thinking what am I doing, why are you going backwards, forwards, why are you in lane 2 lane 3? But I just had to really try and focus and I missed the kick when Klosterhalfen went. And I thought ‘I need to react to this’.
“I still class myself as a 1500m runner and doing 5k now as well but I think 3k is perfect one in the middle. But my coach says I need to be good at 15, 3k and to help the 5k as they all complement each other, I’m looking forward to competing across all the distances in future.
“It did hurt, it was the more like the last k was grinding out but we’ve been doing some touch sessions and I was going over them in my head on the last lap thinking I can do this!”
It was a great end to a great first day.