Richard Kilty, Britain’s 60 metres world champion, was expected to be the star turn of the international match in Glasgow, the indoor season opener. But after twitching in the blocks, he was consigned to watching the race from the sidelines.
The 25-year-old from Teesside was racing indoors for the first time since winning the world title in Poland last March. His disqualification denied a near-full house at the Emirates Arena the opportunity to see a homecoming for one of their few world champions in a meeting which was devoid of many of the big British names.
Kilty was annoyed at the severity of the decision. “I think it was a twitch rather than a false start,” he said. “I’ve seen starts like that and people get away with them.
“I would have won the race by two metres. It would have been an easy victory even if I’d had a bad race. I’m a lot faster than the rest of people in that field.” The race was won by Emmanuel Biron, for France, in 6.69sec.
Kilty has been coachless over the winter, since the abrupt departure from British athletics of Rana Reider, but the sprinter is expected to name his new coach in the coming week.
For all the despondency of this early-season blow, Kilty has experienced infinitely worse in his career, having torn his hamstring on his last race in Glasgow, nine years ago, and later struggling to scrape together enough money to buy trainers and coming close to quitting the sport.
Quite what form Kilty is in at present will have to wait until the British Championships in Birmingham on Valentine’s weekend.
There was an element of romance in Glasgow yesterday for Jess Judd, as she moved up from her usual 800m to the 1500m for what proved a dominating victory. After a winter of injuries and a summer out of the medals at the Commonwealth Games and European championships, Judd admitted to having lost the love for the sport and wondered about walking away altogether.
But after her 4min 14.53sec victory yesterday, the 20-year-old said: “I’ve definitely got the love back and I think it showed there.”
Long jumper Chris Tomlinson endured the worst possible start to the season when he tore his hamstring with his opening jump of the afternoon, in a four-nation match which was won by Germany a solitary point ahead of Great Britain.