Laura Muir has been crowned the ‘queen of British athletics’ by Olympian Denise Lewis, following a hugely successful weekend (3-5 March) at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade. The weight of expectation may have been on Laura’s young shoulders, but the 23-year-old shrugged it off effortlessly as she stormed to victory in the 1500m and 3000m.
Lewis said of Muir’s achievements: “With Jessica Ennis-Hill retiring, we've been wondering who would take on the mantle of the queen of British athletics and Laura is that person.”
Muir, originally from Milnathort but currently studying in veterinary medicine in Glasgow, broke Dame Kelly Holmes' British record and the championship record as she clocked a time of four minutes 2.38 seconds to win her first major title in the 1,500 metres on Saturday. Then on Sunday she eased her way to gold in the 3,000m in eight minutes 35.68 seconds.
The double means Muir is the first British athlete since Colin Jackson in 1994 to win two gold medals in individual events at one European Indoor Championships.
A typically self-effacing Laura said afterwards: “It was my first time doubling up so I didn't know how my body would cope - I was just hoping I could deliver and I'm delighted.”
The 3,000m proved a fruitful event for fellow Scot and Dundee Hawkhill Harrier Eilish McColgan, who took bronze in eight minutes 47.43 seconds. Commenting on her and Muir’s success, she said: "It's not bad for a small club from Dundee is it? I think they'll be pretty chuffed.”