5 things we learned on Day 1 of the European Indoor Championships

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Joe Reid in action at the 2019 European Indoor Championships. Photo: Melissa Gresswell/Lissphotography

NO-ONE CAN LIVE WITH LAURA MUIR

How do we make sure the entire country knows that Laura Muir is our next major international superstar? Perhaps it’s only after the Olympic Games that some really engage with what is happening in the universe of track and field. If that’s the case then shame on them! Laura’s efforts on track will have to do the talking, and you can be fairly sure they will.

As an athletics fan however, it’s frustrating that when watching the TV with my dad he asked if I had heard of her as she was talked up in the minutes prior to the start of the 3000m final.

Laura embarrassed the field to win with a championship record time of 8:30.61, repelling the admirable efforts of Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who must have been spooked by the Scot’s final 1500m (4:05) and particularly her last 200m (28.32). There’s a chance to defend the golden double she won two years ago in the 1500m final at 20:12 on Sunday.

PENTATHLETES TAKE THEIR SHOT AT GLORY

A phenomenal 1-2 for Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Niamh Emerson in the pentathlon, which surpassed most expectations. KJT exuded the sort of self-belief that breeds success at the highest level, with a challenge of the world record being mooted after three events. Taking of records, Niamh beat the world best for a 19-year-old, becoming the first teenager to score more than 4700 points with PBs in every event.

But perhaps most impressive of all was how the pair broke free of a supposed achilles heel in the shot put. It’s a discipline that Katarina has visibly struggled with on occasions, but an outright 13.15m PB from the off led her to tip-toe around with glee. With expert advice from Shaun Pickering from the sidelines, Niamh Emerson’s 13.93 enhanced her all-round potential. Both showed positive reactions to making adjustments in the short gap between runs, jumps and throws.Β  It was more than just damage limitation and it could be a massive psychological boost for next time.

BATTLE OF THE FAN CLUBS

This is a tough one to call. Ultimately, both sets of fans deserve plaudits. We have been spoilt with home championships over the last few years, but that hasn’t made anyone less excited to make the trip to Glasgow, or less determined to give British athletes the extra inch or tenths of a second.

You have to admire the innovation. I hope KJT’s mum and grandma, who were part of the red top crew, like being on the telly, because they definitely received their fair share of air-time.

NEW-FOUND CONFIDENCE

Experiences like these championships are gold dust for competitors new to the scene. 18-year-old Amber Anning first caught the eye with her 400m silver at the British Indoor Championships last month, but she proved it was no fluke in Glasgow. The confident manner with which she took the race out, really impressed. So too did her relaxed running style, which led to a comedy moment on the BBC sofa when Michael Johnson urged Gabby Logan to "slow down" after she suggested a comparison with Olympic and world Christine Ohuruogu. Amber was unfortunate to be knocked out of the semi-finals by team-mate Eilidh Doyle, but seems likely to be thrown into the relay squad for more valuable time inside the arena.

On a similar note, the likes of Joe Reid and Mari Smith looked incredibly calm and composed on their way to semi-final spots.

THE BATTLE OF THE INGE-BRITS

After Chris O’Hare won the British Indoor Championships, Interviewer Geoff Wightman asked him “has this 3000m made you realise that the longer distances are better?”

“No”, said Chris O’Hare. “You gave everything” said BBC interviewer Radzi Chinyanganya after Chris won his European Indoor 3000m heat on the first day of action. “No…you’re mistaken”, the Scot again retorted light-heartedly.

On this occasion, his wit was matched by his opponent and broadened into a charming clip of spontaneous television as Henrik Ingebrigtsen took hold of Radzi’s microphone and started asking the questions.

With brother Jakob doubling up over 1500 and 3000m, and the likes of O’Hare, Neil Gourley, Andy Butchart, and Sam Atkin qualifying, the tussle between the Brits and the Ingebrigtsens could well be one of the stories of the weekend. That’s in spite of Filip Ingebrigtsen’s disqualification in the 1500m for stepping on the inside of the track

Find full results here on the European Athletics website.

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First published on: 1 March, 2019 11:17 pm

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