Richard Kilty: Sprinter confident he can 'handle expectation'

Kilty sprints to 60m indoor world title

Teesside sprinter Richard Kilty says he has learned to handle the expectation that followed his World Indoor 60m gold medal earlier this year.

Kilty, 25, was catapulted into the elite ranks following March's world gold in Sopot, but has been unable as yet to replicate that success outdoors.

The Stockton-born athlete is about to begin his winter training schedule for the 2015 season.

"Next year I'll know how to handle the expectation," Kilty told BBC Tees.

"I'll know what to expect and go in there as a confident world champion. I'll pick my races properly.

"I've just turned 25 and I'm still learning. It's great knowing I can learn something new."

In winning gold in Poland, Kilty became only the sixth British sprinter to break the 6.5-second barrier in indoor 60m competition with his time of 6.49.

Success brought financial reward, increased profile and international acclaim, but also extra scrutiny and pressure to perform.

Kilty's relay success in 2014
Kilty won 4x100m relay gold for Great Britain at the outdoor European Championships in Zurich and silver for England at the Commonwealth Games, but was eliminated in the semi-finals of the individual 100m event in Glasgow.

"Before the World Championships I was on lottery funding and went to the event with about £50 in my bank account," he said.

"That was all I had, and suddenly after the race I had Nike trying to offer me thousands of pounds, being offered a lot of money to attend Diamond League events.

"It's confusing and emotional and there's suddenly expectations. People are saying 'can he break 10 seconds?' and asking 'what will he do outdoors?'

"Before that, on the European circuit, I was one of the best British runner. But suddenly I was world champion and it was a lot to take in while staying hungry. It was a long season and emotionally stressful.

"But I lived my dream and it's been the best year of my life so far."