British Athletics has announced a strong team of 32 athletes who will compete at the 34th European Indoor Athletics Championships in the Kombank Arena, Belgrade from 3-5 March. Despite the presence of three Olympic medallists and three defending European champions in the British squad the undoubted headline will be Laura Muir's audacious tilt at two golds in the 1500m and 3,000m.
Hoping For Two Muir Medals In Belgrade
Laura Muir, the 23-year-old Scot from Glasgow, will have to safely negotiate first rounds of the 3,000m and 1500m on Friday (3 March) on the tight, 200m track and then recover sufficiently to be able to defeat the best in Europe over 1500m on Saturday and 3,000m on Sunday.
Muir will not be alone in her attempt as fellow Scot Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill) is also entered for the middle-distance double. Muir broke the European indoor record for 3000m earlier this year and is fresh from running the second fastest time in history for 1000m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham recently so her credentials are obvious. Meanwhile, McColgan has been improving all winter and set a fine PB for 3,000m in Birmingham.
The experienced Steph Twell (Aldershot), who is also in the best form of her life, completes the British challenge in the 3,000m and Sarah McDonald (Birchfield) breaks the Scottish hold on places by filling the third spot at 1500m.
The defending European champions are Richard Kilty (60m), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (long jump) and world number one Andrew Pozzi (60m hurdles). Olympic medallists to look out for are Robbie Grabarz (high jump), Asha Philip (60m) and Eilidh Doyle (400m). Doyle also goes in the 4x400m relay that will bring the programme to an exciting conclusion.
Performance Director for British Athletics, Neil Black said: “I’m pleased with the blend of this team. With a home World Championships in London, 2017 is an even bigger year for us than 2016, so starting it off in a positive manner is essential and I am expecting to see a number of medal winning performances in Belgrade.”
The meeting will be screened live on BBC television and can be followed at the European Indoors website and on British Athletics website