Richard Kilty's 60m charge proves critics wrong

'Fairy tale' as stand-in sprinter wins shock gold medal after being overlooked for London Games

sopot

Richard Kilty was not supposed to be in Sopot and, had it not been for James Dasaolu's hamstring, he would have been watching from home. Now the self-style "Teesside Tornado" is world champion, an athlete previously overlooked by the British selectors pulling off one of the great surprises of these championships by winning the 60m. It was, he said, "a fairy tale".

To anyone that would listen, the 24-year-old, a 33-1 shot with bookmakers in the build-up, had said he could win and had a sub-6.50sec run within him, and so it proved as he became only the sixth British athlete to dip under the mark with a winning time of 6.49sec.

Previously, he had claimed to be let down by his dip for the line but it was that dip which won him gold from the American Marvin Bracy, the fastest man in the field on paper, with Femi Ogunode of Qatar taking the bronze.

Tiffany Porter pipped Kilty to Britain's first medal of these World Indoors with a bronze in the previous race, the 60m hurdles. But the night undeniably belonged to the previously unheralded Kilty.

The athlete had been overlooked for 200m selection at the London Olympics in 2012 despite achieving the A qualifying standard and again for the World Championships in Moscow last year. But when given his first individual senior chance he duly repaid the selectors' faith with the run of his career.

"I can't believe it. It's a dream come true," he said. "This is my boyhood dream. I told my dad four years ago I would be world champion and to think I've come out and done it, I feel like crying. It's unbelievable. I'm on top of the world.

"For the last four years all I've been is slated – by the media, from other people, from my home country. So to come out and win, I guess that's almost good sprinting!

"It was massive motivation. I just wanted to come here and prove people wrong. This proves the selectors got it wrong in 2012. They overlooked me. I'm not going to say it rubs it in their face – I'm over that now – but this proves I would have performed in 2012."

Kilty's route to being world champion has been a troubled one. For a time, he was removed from Lottery funding and was no longer able to afford his previous coach Linford Christie so had to be helped by his father Kevin, who persuaded him not to quit athletics. There was also a bizarre incident in which he was accused over an alleged baseball bat attack. He was cleared of any wrongdoing but he blamed the bad publicity for him losing his sponsors.

It proved a disappointing race for Dwain Chambers, ending his hopes of a fourth successive medal at the World Indoors. "I'm disappointed but Kilty did a very good job," said the 35-year-old. "He held his nerve and kept it together and ran a very quick time. I didn't see it coming, and it wasn't my day."

Porter's bronze medal was all the more remarkable considering the poor start she endured. But the 26-year-old kept her composure to close up on the leaders, edging third behind Nia Ali, who was a surprise winner over world and Olympic champion Sally Pearson.

"It's really bittersweet," said Porter. "I'm thrilled to have brought a medal home for Team GB but I know I gave up a lot in that start and it's very disappointing not to execute your best race. My best race would have been better."

Hopes were high of a third medal on the night with pole vault world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie missing from the championships, but Luke Cutts was struggling from the start of his warm-up.

The 26-year-old, who used to work 10-hour shifts overnight stocking delivery lorries, had twice jumped higher than the winning height of 5.80m this season. But he took three attempts to clear his opening height of 5.40m, two at 5.55 and another three at 5.65, continually changing his poles throughout.

"It's my first major championships back in the GB team in seven years," he said. "It's just a lack of experience in major championships."

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas