Laura Muir savours 1500m gold as England denied 4x400m relay title after dramatic disqualification

The Scottish star ended an eight-year wait for Commonwealth Games glory as the joy of England’s crowning gold in the 4x400m relay final was short-lived

James Toney
At the Alexander Stadium
Monday 08 August 2022 02:25 BST
Laura Muir celebrates her gold on the final day of athletics in Birmingham
Laura Muir celebrates her gold on the final day of athletics in Birmingham (AFP via Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Laura Muir missed the last Commonwealth Games to take her veterinary exams and she’s certainly passed this test in Birmingham with flying colours too.

The world and Olympic medallist added 1500m gold to her 800m bronze, while England were denied a second relay gold after a late disqualification on the final day of the athletics programme.

It’s fair to say Muir’s relationship with these Games has not been an easy one. Eight years ago, she arrived in Glasgow as her sport’s rising star, only to get tripped in the final when shaping for a medal bid. She watched the Gold Coast on her phone in her surgical scrubs but now, finally, she’s got the gold she craved.

“I certainly love the Commonwealth Games again,” she joked. “There is still no more heart-breaking race in my career than what happened that night in Glasgow, I couldn’t feel like that again.

“This is the one that meant the most to me, this was the medal that I really wanted and set out at the start of this year to get.

“I know I’ll never get back that chance I had in Glasgow, to win in front of Scottish crowds, but this is not far behind it, the support was incredible.

“I was so upset by that race but if I could tell myself from back then something now, it’s your time will come if you keep working hard and believing in yourself.

“For eight years the Commonwealth Games has been bugging me and to come here and get not one but two medals – and a gold – that means everything.”

Muir crossed the line after a brilliant kick in the 1500m final
Muir crossed the line after a brilliant kick in the 1500m final (AFP via Getty Images)

Muir did face an anxious wait to get her 800m bronze confirmed, after the Jamaican team appealed the photo finish evidence that went against their athlete. She only found out her medal was secured as she went to bed but there was no doubt about the 1500m – she hit the front with 500m to go and never looked back.

“The appeal was pretty stressful, but I tried to put it out of my mind as I knew I had this race to come – and this was the one I really wanted,” she added.

“I thought my strength is in my kick and I just had to trust it and hope no-one caught me and thankfully they didn’t.

“I feel in great shape. Two championships down and one to go. I came into this year wanting medals at all three and I’m going to the Europeans with lots of confidence now.”

The redeveloped Alexander Stadium, once unloved and tatty, has been the breakout star of these Games – and another sell-out crowd roared home England’s 4x400m women’s team, who followed the lead of the men’s 4x100m quartet earlier in the day.

But that full-throated cheer turned to a groan as video replays showed Jodie Williams had stepped outside her lane, leaving the team, which also included Victoria Ohuruogu, Ama Pipi and Jessie Knight, in tears as they were preparing to receive their medals.

Jodie Williams and Victoria Ohuruogu had stepped out their lane
Jodie Williams and Victoria Ohuruogu had stepped out their lane (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Eilish McColgan had more happy tears to cry after her 5000m silver, holding her own with the best of Kenya but just finding Beatrice Chebet’s pace too hot in the closing lap.

“It’s been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions since the 10,000m gold,” she said.

“I was so tired, mentally, and physically, but I’m so proud. I knew everyone would be fresh, it’s a different bunch of girls racing, there’s only a few of us who were crazy enough to do both. Honestly, gold and silver, it’s a dream. You can’t ask for anymore.”

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