Laura Muir and Jake Wightman won British crowns on the first day of the British Athletics Indoor Championships on Saturday (February 17).
Muir led a Scottish one-two in the 3000m final after kicking with 600m to go to win in 8:46.71 ahead Eilish McColgan in 8:50.87.
The double European indoor champion, who’s previously won 800m and 1500m British titles, looked at home in the Arena Birmingham and can now look forward to a return for the World Indoor Championships next month.
It was a season’s best performance from McColgan for silver, with Rosie Clarke taking bronze in 8:52.49.
It was great to come here and get the title,” said Muir after her win. “Testing the speed over the last three laps was the plan and it was nice that I was able to execute that well and come away with the win. It bodes well for the Worlds in a couple of weeks time.”
Melissa Courtney finished fourth in 9:01.72, while Steph Twell was a late withdrawal due to the ill-effects of a long journey flight from America.
Twell said on Twitter: “post a transatlantic flight, I’m not feeling 100% and I would prefer to make sure I carefully continue my preparations for the Commonwealths.”
Twell was not the only athlete to miss the two-day competition, with Chris O’Hare withdrawing from the men’s 1500m final due to a minor foot injury.
Jake Wightman, who finished second to compatriot O’Hare in Boston last week, produced a great performance to win gold in an exciting 1500m race in 3:43.83 ahead of Charlie Da’Vall Grice with 3:44.57.
For 23-year-old Wightman, it’s a first ever British title. Last Summer the Scot became the first British winner in 12 years of the Emsley Carr Mile, and the first Scottish winner since 1978. With the Wolrd Indoor qualifying time achieved in Boston last week, Wightman will be back in Birmingham in a matter of weeks.
Tom Marshall, who features in the ‘class of 2018‘, ran a season’s best to win bronze in 3:47.52.
Wightman said afterwards: “It was a shame to lose Chris before the race because you want as strong a field as possible.
“But it was nice to win the title because I haven’t won any British title yet, so to nail one off is a really big moment for me and I hope it can kick off a few others to come.”
60m British sprint titles were won by CJ Ujah and Asha Philip, while Andrew Pozzi and Megan Marrs clinched 60m hurdle crowns. In the long jump, the class of Greg Rutherford and Katarina Johnson-Thompson won both titles.
In the final track event of the day, Stacey Smith, Eilish McColgan and Jemma Reekie all automatically qualified from the first heat for the 1500m final on Sunday. While automatic qualifiers from the second of two heats were Katie Snowden, Hanna England and Aimee Pratt.
The remaining three final spots were gained by Natalie Weir, Chloe Bradley and Julia Cooke.
Sunday’s competition gets underway at 12:00 noon and you can watch live online on the BBC and British Athletics’ website.