Athletics: Indoor champion Kilty believes he can run under ten seconds

As befits the new world indoor champion for 60 metres, Richard Kilty’s Twitter status was quickly updated to reflect his shock elevation to the sprinting elite

Julian Finney/Getty Images Richard Kilty of Great Britain wins the gold medal in the Men's 60m Final of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland
Richard Kilty of Great Britain wins the gold medal in the Men's 60m Final of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland

The 24-year-old Gateshead Harrier from Stockton now has his sights set on becoming only the second white man to break the 10-second barrier for 100m following his remarkable triumph in Sopot.

Kilty was controversially overlooked for the London Olympics, despite running the qualifying standard for the 200m.

After an unsuccessful appeal, Kilty considered quitting the sport or possibly representing Ireland, saying he felt “let down” by governing body British Athletics.

He also suffered a torn hamstring and was struggling to get by without any funding, but returned to the track in January 2013 and posted enough impressive times to be restored to the funding programme in October.

Now training under Rana Reider in Loughborough rather than alone on the streets of Teesside, Kilty aims to emulate France’s Christophe Lemaitre by running under 10 seconds outdoors; his current personal best is 10.10secs.

“This guy’s helped so much,” Kilty said after hugging Reider following his dramatic win on Saturday. “My two biggest helps have been my dad and Rana the last six months. He’s given me confidence, he’s fixed my technique, he’s made me believe I can be one of the world’s best.

“I think I can run nine seconds. I’m not going to say I’m going to do it this year or next year but I think within my career I can run well into nine seconds. I know it’s a pretty big statement but I’ve come out and become world champion, so to do that’s not so much of a problem.”

Kilty credits Reider for realising he was an “undiscovered talent” who was always overlooked by “certain members” of British Athletics who are no longer with the organisation, a reference to former head coach Charles van Commenee who left his post after the Olympics.

“In the past, there were members I didn’t get on with for some reason, maybe I was overlooked because I am from the North East, out of the way,” added Kilty, who replaced the injured James Dasaolu in the British team for Sopot.

“I wasn’t angry, I thrive on that, I am a fighter and nothing can keep me down. I have come through so many struggles and hard work. I have come from an area which is deprived.”

Meanwhile, Katarina Johnson-Thompson was the star performer as Britain ended the World Indoor Championships in Poland with a total of six medals.

Johnson-Thompson was prevented from qualifying for the pentathlon in Sopot due to illness and overlooked for a wild card, but produced a personal best of 6.81 metres to claim silver in the long jump.

There was also a silver for the men’s 4x400m relay team of Conrad Williams, Jamie Bowie, Luke Lennon-Ford and Nigel Levine, who were only beaten by a world indoor record from the United States.

Andrew Osagie claimed a second successive bronze in the 800 metres despite crossing the line in fourth place, with Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski subsequently disqualified.

There were also bronze medals for the women’s 4x400m, who were unable to defend their title from two years ago in Istanbul.

The quartet of Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Margaret Adeoye and world champion Christine Ohuruogu took bronze behind the United States and Jamaica.

There was disappointment in the pole vault as medal prospect Holly Bleasdale could only finish ninth after failing to clear 4.65m.

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