Richard Kilty: European gold medallist 'ran like a kid at school'
British sprinter Richard Kilty has said that running like he was "a kid in school" helped him win his gold medal at the European Indoor Championships.
The 27-year-old defended his 60m title in Belgrade, finishing in 6.54 seconds.
His selection for the competition was initially in doubt after false-starting at the British Indoor Trials in Sheffield in February.
"It shows what my character is," Kilty told BBC Tees. "I had a tough couple of weeks but I handled it well."
Middlesbrough-based Kilty says a conversation with a friend after his false start in Sheffield was key to his success.
"I spoke to my good friend Chris Andrews after I was disqualified, and I was bit all over the place and things didn't seem to be going right," he continued.
"He just told me to slow things down, be relaxed, and run like when I was a kid in school.
"I kind of took that mentality with me for the last three weeks."
To overcome those setbacks in such short time was, Kilty argues, an impressive test of his character.
He said: "It's a great thing to measure myself against. If you can overcome adversity and come out with success only a couple of weeks afterwards, it's quite humbling."
Kilty, who won world indoor 60m gold in 2014, believes he can now use his profile and success to inspire others at home.
Kilty lived in a homeless hostel for a short period when growing up in Stockton-on-Tees, before running his way into a better life.
"It's my responsibility to inspire the local youngsters that we can have success on Teesside," he said.
"I train with some of the lads from the estates around Stockton and Middlesbrough, and there's a lot of talent here.
"I feel like I can be a role model, and I've got a lot left to give to the community."
Back on track
Kilty plans to take a week off to reflect on his achievements before beginning preparations for the World Championships in London later this year.
He added: "If you say next, next, next, you'll come to the end of the road and think: 'I wish I had enjoyed that moment a little bit better'.
"I'm going to spend some time with friends and family and enjoy what I've just achieved.
"From next week, I'm back on track and onto the next goal, and that's the World Championships in London."