ANDREW POZZI captured his first senior international championship title in dramatic fashion as he claimed victory in the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
The Stratford Athletic Club runner was not at his best in last Friday’s final but called on all of his reserves to power through and secure victory in 7.51secs.
Stratford-born Pozzi, a former Alcester Grammar School student, overcame a below-par start to show the red-hot form of recent weeks and edge Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (7.52secs) and the Czech Republic’s Petr Svoboda (7.53secs) into second and third place respectively.
Pozzi, 24, said: “That was close, but I’m over the moon to be European 60m indoor hurdles champion. It’s been worth every second of the long road to get here. Thanks everyone.
“I had a slow start but at the halfway point I thought ‘I’m not going to lose this one’.
“I gave it everything and had a big dip on the line. It was a scrappy race but a win’s a win.
“After a slow start I knew I could still work my way through the field. It was scrappy but I got there in the end.”
British hurdling legend Colin Jackson, an Olympic 110m hurdles silver medallist of 1988, added: “Andrew fought his way through and showed he’s a true champion.”
Pozzi came into the event in blistering form having recently won the Müller Indoor Grand Prix 60m hurdles in Birmingham and the British Athletics Indoor Team Trials in Sheffield.
All being well, Pozzi will aim for more success in the 110m hurdles at August’s IAAF World Championships at London’s Olympic Stadium.