Richard Kilty may not defend 60m world title in Portland

The 26-year-old has said the shorter sprint isnot so much his focus in an Olympic year

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The Independent Online

Richard Kilty has raised doubts over the defence of his world title in Portland next month.

Kilty, who won World Indoors gold in Poland two years ago for the 60 metres and was crowned European champion last season in Prague, finished runner-up to Sean Safo-Antwi over the same distance at the Glasgow Grand Prix on Saturday.

And the 26-year-old insisted the shorter sprint was not so much his focus in an Olympic year.

“I feel that in the last two years I have won everything there is to win indoors and it’s time for me for me to concentrate on the 100m,” he said. “To win it again would be like ‘oh yeah, you’re just a good 60m runner’. I don’t want  to have that mantle, I want to produce outdoors what I’m capable of.

“So I am not too concerned about my start right now. I am working on my back end, my 100m and 200m. I’m just looking to get faster.

“I’m not too sure whether I will go to Portland yet. I will decide as of next weekend. It would be great to win it again but I’ve won it. The next thing is to make the 100m final and also start to show my promise over 200m. I was a 200m runner before 2014, people forget that I have gone 20.3 and I think I can go a lot quicker than that.”

Kilty will take the next few days to decide whether to compete at the British trials for Portland in Sheffield this weekend.

The Teeside Tornado was upstaged by the less heralded Safo-Antwi as Adam Gemili struggled and world 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell withdrew at the last minute with a slight groin concern.

Glasgow was denied a duel between Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth long jump champion Greg Rutherford and the Paralympian Markus Rehm, who is bidding to be proved he gains no advantage from his prosthetic take-off leg and can compete against Rutherford at the Olympics.

Rehm, who won at Glasgow with a best jump of 8.10m, said he had written to both the IAAF and his national federation stating his case for eligibility.

“I would like to meet them face to face,” he said of the IAAF. “I would like to talk to them and discuss the possibility of making a good advert for our sport.”

As for a possible advantage, he said: “If this was such a big advantage why can no other athlete jump the same distances as me? Because there’s a gap between me and second - in the World Championships it was 1.14 metres and they had the same take-off leg, the same technique and the same equipment as me. If it was that easy everyone would be jumping those distances.”

Rutherford pulled out in the build-up to the event with a slight niggle but his long-term rival Chris Tomlinson, who competed against Rehm in Scotland, welcomed the Paralympian being allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes.

“The guy just wants to come along to events like this and be at the Olympics,” said Tomlinson. “He’s not wanting to take money off people or medals away. What he is saying is ‘let me be part of this please’.

“Our sport is in absolute chaos - in 15 years of being at this level I’ve never seen anything like this. At the moment we need something positive, and Markus is a positive because he is getting people talking. The bottom line is it is great for the sport.”