Kilty, Chambers lift GB spirits
Sprinters Richard Kilty and Dwain Chambers gave the British team a much-needed boost on an otherwise disappointing opening day of the World Indoor Championships in Poland, where Laura Muir's medal hopes ended in tears.
Muir was tipped as one of the team's brightest medal prospects after arriving in Sopot ranked third fastest in the world in 2014 over both 800 and 1500 metres.
However, the 20-year-old veterinary student could only finish third in her heat and although she was promoted to second when Iceland's Anita Hinriksdottir was disqualified, her time of two minutes 2.55 seconds was not enough to advance to the final.
Muir never recovered from being blocked and losing ground as the athletes broke from their lanes after the first 50m and twice broke down when trying to speak to the media afterwards.
"I tried to start off quick to get a good position but I think I got a little bit caught out and because I was in lane one, the field came across and I got a bit blocked off," she later said via team officials.
"I lost a lot of ground, it was a case of trying to get back into position and I lost a lot of energy. Not only does the rest of the field get away from you, but you've got to work twice as hard to catch them up. You know you've got to win the race in the first place and you can't afford to lose that much ground. I just didn't have it in that final 200m when I needed it.
"I knew it was going to be very hard and I probably should have gone off a bit quicker, but I tried as best as I could. I knew getting into the final would be very hard, but definitely something I was capable of and I still think I am, it's just a matter of having a good race on the day.
"I'll learn from this and it's better to make a mistake now than in the future when there is a greater possibility of winning a medal."
Britain won a record nine medals in Istanbul two years ago, including a bronze for Chambers, who advanced to the semi-finals of the 60m here by winning his heat in 6.57secs.
At 35, Chambers is the oldest man in the field by six years but he was still the joint-second fastest qualifier behind team-mate Kilty, who equalled his personal best of 6.53s with an impressive victory in his heat.
"I have equalled my pb and there's definitely a lot more in the tank," Kilty, 24, said. "It's my first World Indoor Championships and first senior individual championships and it feels great to produce good performances here.
"A lot of people questioned whether I could come out here and perform with it being my first one but I'm coming fearing no-one and I want to win."
Chambers, who won the title in 2010 after returning from a two-year drugs ban, said: "I'm happy. I've got a natural ability to run and I've always had that. Because of my past I thought a different route was the way to do it and it obviously wasn't. But I've realised my legs can be a lot more beneficial for me.
"As long as my age doesn't affect my performance and I'm able to run with the young boys I'll stick with it. To get on the podium for me is the main thing. I've run 6.42 and nobody's done that. It's somewhere, I've got to find it."
Only three of the nine athletes in action in the morning session came through the heats, with Andrew Osagie making the 800m final as a fastest loser and Margaret Adeoye and Nigel Levine reaching the 400m semis by the same method, only to finish fifth in the evening semi-finals.
Richard Buck was disqualified from his 400m heat for obstruction, while Mukhtar Mohamed failed to advance in the 800m and Lee Emanuel, Chris O'Hare and Jemma Simpson all bowed out of the 1,500m.
There was better news as Tiffany Porter won her heat of the 60m hurdles in 7.95s, while Andy Vernon took more than four seconds off his personal best to reach the 3,000m final as team-mate Jonathan Mellor trailed in last in the other heat.
"I feel good but I'm glad it's done and I'm through to the final," Vernon said. "It's always a nerve wracking time when you are in the heats as you want to get through but anything can happen.
"I'm going to out and enjoy the final, run as hard as I can. Hopefully finish in the top half if I can and do my best."