Athletics News

Neil Gourley going for gold in Istanbul

Neil Gourley going for gold in Istanbul

Victory at the World Indoor Tour final in Birmingham in a British 1500m record of 3:32.48 means the 28-year-old is full of confidence going into the European Indoor Champs

After breaking the British 1500m record in Birmingham, Neil Gourley believes it can act as a springboard to take on Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul in a few days’ time.

The 28-year-old ran 3:32.48 at the World Indoor Tour Final on Saturday (Feb 25) to beat Josh Kerr’s national mark of 3:32.86 as runner-up Adel Mechaal ran a Spanish record of 3:33.28 and Andrew Coscoran broke the long-standing Irish record with 3:33.49 in third.

Pacemaker Erik Sowinski led through 400m in 56.14 and 800m in 1:53.53 with 1200m reached in 2:50.96. Kerr was running aggressively and held pole position going into the last lap but Gourley unleashed a strong finish to pass Kerr, who faded to fifth in 3:34.93.

“Josh made it hard and I had to hang and bide my time and then punch that last 150m hard,” said Gourley.

The winner added that he made his record-breaking ambitions public last year but ended up running an underpar 3:52.08. “So this time I just went about my business quietly,” he smiled.

His run was not a huge surprise, though, as he clocked an impressive 3:49.46 in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games to finish runner-up to American record-breaker Yared Nuguse before blasting to the UK title last weekend ahead of George Mills.

Victory in Birmingham sealed the World Indoor Tour title for Gourley which means automatic qualification for next year’s World Indoor Championships on home turf in Glasgow. But more immediate is the European Indoors starting on Thursday (Mar 2).

Neil Gourley (Getty for BA)

“I’ve been talking about winning a major medal for a while now because I’ve not done it, so that’s the first goal,” he said. “But I also want to be challenging for the win.

“It’s going to be challenging because of who is in Europe at the moment. Jakob (Ingebrigtsen) will be there as he doesn’t miss these championships and it will be a case of trying to go toe to toe with him, which is immensely challenging but a compatriot of mine, Jake (Wightman), was able to do it last year so why not me?”

Gourley says he has worked on his stamina more this winter and describes it as “the missing piece” of the jigsaw. “The work I’ve done in the past three months has been so consistent. I’ve barely missed a day,” he explained. “And we’ve…

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