European Indoor Athletics: Andrew Pozzi wins 60m hurdles gold

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Pozzi wins European 60m hurdles gold
European Indoor Championships
Venue: Belgrade, Serbia Dates: 3-5 March
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, Connected TV, Red Button and the BBC Sport website. Full details and times

Briton Andrew Pozzi won gold in the 60m hurdles at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade.

The 24-year-old claimed his first European indoor title in a time of 7.51 seconds.

France's defending champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde took silver, with Czech Petr Svoboda in third.

"It was a scrappy race so I really had to work hard to get back after a slow start but I'm really happy," Pozzi told BBC Sport.

Pozzi, who qualified fastest for the final, trailed out of the blocks before surging back to edge out Martinot-Lagarde by 0.01secs.

"At halfway I thought 'I'm not losing this one' and just gave everything and gave a big dip on the line," said the Stratford upon Avon hurdler .

"It was closer than I would have liked but I got there in the end."

In winning Great Britain's first gold medal of the championships, Pozzi also became the first Briton to win the men's 60m hurdles title since the last of Colin Jackson's three victories in 2002.

"Forget the time, he's got the title," said BBC Sport pundit Jackson, who holds the world record at the event of 7.30 seconds.

"He fought his way through and showed he is a true champion, that is the most important thing. He will be full of confidence, relieved and happy."

Germany's Cindy Roleder won gold in the women's 60m hurdles final, ahead of Alina Talay of Belarus and compatriot Pamela Dutkiewicz.

'I never thought I'd get here'

After pulling up with a hamstring injury at the London 2012 Olympics, Pozzi endured several years of chronic foot injuries, having had several operations on both feet.

He missed out on qualifying for the Rio 2016 110m hurdles final but has been in impressive form this year, running a personal best indoor time of 7.43 seconds at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix in February.

"It has been a long old road and I wasn't sure I'd ever get to the level I wanted to be at so to win with grit and determination, I'm over the moon," he said.

"This is the first championships I've come into with a good amount of work behind me and I felt really confident - to feel like I'm starting to get there means everything, it makes it worth it."

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