European Indoor Athletics Championships: Richard Kilty denied hat-trick

Slovakia's Jan Volko celebrates winning gold
Slovakia's Jan Volko celebrates winning gold

Defending champion Richard Kilty saw his bid for an unlikely third straight European indoor 60 metres gold medal falter in Glasgow.

After undergoing Achilles surgery just six months ago, the 29-year was set to be denied the chance to defend the title he first won in Prague in 2015 before retaining two years later in Belgrade after being overlooked by the Great Britain selectors.

But an 11th-hour invite from European Athletics allowed the former world indoor champion to take his place on the start line at the Emirates Arena.

He justified his selection by progressing through the heats and the semi-finals, but his recent struggles with form were once again evident as he missed out on a medal by just four one hundredths of a second after clocking 6.66 seconds, with the gold going to Slovakia's Jan Volko after he crossed the line in 6.60secs.

The host nation were hoping to continue their gold rush after dominant victories for Laura Muir and Katarina Johnson-Thompson on Friday's opening night of action.

But the best the Scottish crowd got to cheer was a silver medal for Edinburgh's Chris O'Hare in the men's 3,000m final and bronze for Asha Philip in the women's 60m.

Watch: Highlights from day two at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow

And Kilty admitted the championships had just come too soon for him as he continues his search for full fitness.

"I fell short today," he said. "My determination levels are still the same and I want to push through what I've been going through recently.

"I just need a couple more months. I only had Achilles surgery six months ago and everyone said that was a tough ask to come here so soon after that.

"I had a big issue even on Monday. I had to have water drawn out the joint because I couldn't walk on my left foot. That's not ideal."

Richard Kilty
Richard Kilty

O'Hare had gone four years without finding himself on the podium at a major championships, but the 28-year-old produced a brave surge on the final straight to split Norway's Ingebrigtsen brothers and claim second spot.

Eighteen-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen had too much power in the last couple of laps to be caught as he surged to gold in 7:56.15, with elder sibling Henrik taking bronze.

O'Hare said: "With Jakob in races now it feels like there's only two medals left. The guy is incredible, so I am happy to split up the Ingebrigtsens and it is good just to be back on the medal podium.

"It has been four years if not more since I have been on a podium and it has been a hell of a four years. I wouldn't change it, it has made me the person I am. And hopefully this is another step forward. I definitely got there on crowd power."

Defending sprint champion Philip could do nothing as Poland's Ewa Swoboda stormed past Dutch Olympic 200m silver medallist Dafne Schippers to take her 60m crown with a time of 7.09.

Britain team captain Guy Learmonth, meanwhile, suffered track despair for the second competition running as he crashed out in the semi-finals of the men's 800m.

The Berwick-upon-Tweed athlete was sporting a bandaged hand as a result of a fall at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham two weeks ago.

And there was more pain in store as he took a tumble following a collision with Ireland's Mark English two laps from home and was later officially disqualified.

Liverpool's Jamie Webb managed to stay clear of trouble as he qualified for Sunday's final from the same race, finishing second to Spain's Mariano Garcia.

Chris Baker missed out on a medal in the high jump final as his leap of 2.22m was good enough only for joint fourth. Colourful Italian Gianmarco Tamberi, sporting his trademark half-beard, took the gold as he cleared 2.32m.

California-born Briton Tim Duckworth led the way in the heptathlon after four events with 3533 points, 58 clear of Sweden's Fredrik Samuelsson ahead of the final three events on Sunday.

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