There may have only been three British athletes contesting events on Sunday morning at the European Indoor Championships but reigning champion Andrew Pozzi (coach: Santiago Antunez, club: Stratford-upon-Avon) progressed to the 60m hurdles final and Tim Duckworth (Toby Stevenson, Liverpool) remains in medal contention in second in the heptathlon with one event remaining.
Reigning champion Pozzi ran a season’s best to progress to the men’s 60m hurdles final later on this evening, building upon his solid performance in the heats as he returns following an injury.
The less-bearded Pozzi started strongly, staying with Orlando Ortega (SPA) until the last flight of hurdles, as the Spaniard edged it in 7.57 to Pozzi’s 7.61. He qualifies for the final as the second fastest overall with a tilt at the medals at 18:10 this evening.
Pozzi spoke afterwards: “It was good, very controlled. I was a bit uncomfortable around the second hurdle, so I just pulled it back a bit. I know I am running quite quickly now, and it is just making sure that technically I don’t come into trouble with the hurdles. That was a good race, nice and smooth and will set me up well for later.
“As soon as I stepped on the line yesterday, everything came back, it is like riding a bike. I love this environment so much, it always brings the best out of me and I knew that would be the case. I knew as long as I was healthy coming here, I would find it on the start line.”
On his expectations for the final, Pozzi added: “I am here to give my absolute best, if it is good enough for gold then that is great. I am still finding my feet but if I give a great performance, I will take what comes with it. I think I am going to be pretty competitive.”
Unfortunately, British indoor champion David King (James Hillier, City of Plymouth) could not join him in the final, his 7.71 led to a fifth-place finish, but his missed out on one of the two fastest non-automatic qualifier spots by 0.01s.
After finishing day one in pole position in the heptathlon after accumulating 3533 points, Duckworth was back in the arena first thing on Sunday morning for the 60m hurdles and pole vault.
In the opening 60m hurdles, he got out of the blocks well, and held his form well to clock 8.16. That added 924 points to his tally, totalling 4481 heading into the pole vault. Spain’s Jorge Urena was the fastest over the hurdles – equalling his own Championship best of 7.78 – so he usurped Duckworth at the top of the standings, moving just six points ahead of the Briton.
In a lengthy pole vault competition, it was a largely smooth progression for the British athlete, a first-time clearance at 5.00m earned him 910 points and that is what he left the competition with after three fouls at 5.10m.
The result leaves him in silver-medal position on 5385 points overall, six behind Jorge Urena, who matched Duckworth’s effort in the pole vault, ahead of the 1000m during the final session at Glasgow 2019.