A major athletics championships usually has a noisy and enthusiastic British contingent cheering on the athletes. However, in the stadium in Torun that was devoid of supporters, it suddenly came to life when Andrew Pozzi lined up for the final of the 60m Hurdles and the raucous Italian athletes sitting in the stands “adopted” Andrew.
Not only does he train in Italy but his family roots have Italian connections. They were cheering even more loudly as he became the first British male athlete to win a medal at the championships, amongst the all brilliant British athletes.
Prior to the championships Andrew told me he knew Wilhem Belocian was going to be his biggest threat and that’s just how it turned out. Going into the championships Andrew was in great shape and really flying in training that was backed up by 2 very convincing competitive races. After very classy and fast winning runs in their respective heats and semi-finals for both Andrew and Belocian, it was clear the two big names were going to be the ones to beat in the final; and so it transpired that was how the race ended. A much improved start by Andrew meant he was to the important first barrier in synch with Belocian and like 2 top class prize fighters they slugged it out down the track, in flawless demonstrations of hurdling and reached the line still in sync but Belocian was given the nod for the gold by the thickness of a vest.
Andrew equalled his PB 7.43s, just .01s away from the gold and afterwards he reflected on a great race and praised Belocian as a deserving winner. “It was tough not to win but I’m really proud of the work my team and I have done in the last few weeks to be here after a very difficult couple of months. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me this weekend, it’s been amazing”.
Ever the inspiration, the club’s hurdling fraternity were, along with many others, glued to the TV watching and immediately after the final Seb Hillard was outside his house practicing his starts!