EUROPEAN Indoor 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi recovered from a poor start to claim victory at the Spar British Athletics Indoor Championships and book his place at the forthcoming IAAF World Indoor Championships.
After a stuttering start, 25-year-old Pozzi, from Stratford, recovered to take the 60m hurdles crown in a season’s best 7.56 seconds at Arena Birmingham on Saturday.
The Stratford AC sprinter, who disappointingly failed to make the final of last year’s World Championships 110m hurdles in London, stormed through the field after initially being slow out of the blocks and will now return to the same Second City track (March 1-4) in an attempt to win a World Indoor medal.
Pozzi said: “I’m delighted to be selected for my third World Indoor Championships. I’ve been fourth at the last two, so I’ll be giving Birmingham my best and I can now focus all my time and attention on preparations for that.
“It was also great to win my fifth national title. I still have some mixed feelings on my performances at the trials though.
“On one hand, I was looking for faster times and to leave the championships with a faster season’s best, but aspects of my race were brilliant and shows real promise for my preparations for the World Indoor Championships.”
Former Alcester Grammar School student Pozzi, coached by Benke Blomkvist, secured his biggest athletics achievement in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2017 when he won European Indoor 60m hurdles gold and will be keen to make a statement at the World Indoors following last summer’s London setback.
After winning his heat in the capital, Pozzi was ahead in his semi-final and seemingly cruising to a spot in the final but clipped the penultimate hurdle and finished fourth, meaning he missed out on the final having set a personal best two months earlier.
On his return to Birmingham Pozzi will be joined in his event by fellow British competitor David King. Among the other stars representing Team GB in a 31-strong squad are reigning 1,500m and 3,000m European Indoor champion Laura Muir, Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford and Asha Philip, the 2016 Olympic 4x100m relay bronze medallist and 2017 European Indoor 60m gold medallist.
Neil Black, Performance Director at British Athletics, said: “This year is an amazing year for our athletes on the international stage and we are looking forward to seeing how they perform across 2018.
“We are delighted the IAAF World Indoor Championships are being held in Birmingham, where we have just successfully hosted our British Championships and we are certain it will be a great event for those selected. The home crowd will certainly play its part.
“The IAAF World Indoor Championships are the first major event of an exciting year with Commonwealth Games and European Championships also on the horizon and we have selected a British team with a good mixture of experienced international competitors and talented, up-and-coming athletes keen to test themselves against the best in the world.”
Next up for Pozzi is the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow on Sunday.