Eaura Muir has won gold in the women’s 1,500m at the European Indoor Championships on Saturday, becoming the first British athlete to win five gold medals at the competition. She crossed the finish line in a time of 4:03.40 to defeat Romania’s Claudia Bobocea (4:03.76) in second and Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui (4:04.06) in third.
Muir followed up 1,500m and 3,000m titles in both Belgrade 2017 and Glasgow 2019 to surpass the joint-record held by Colin Jackson and Jason Gardner as the most decorated Brit of all time. She had thought about aiming for another double, but instead opted to just race in the 1,500m, a strategy that has been vindicated.
This latest success comes after the Scottish athlete’s success in the 1,500m at last year’s European Championships in Munich, as well as topping the podium in the event at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Muir followed a long-established strategy, hitting the front of the pack and increasing the pace at around 1,200m, building a gap between her and the other competitors. There was drama in the last 100m as Bobocea launched a late surge, hoping to catch up with Muir – she closed up, but she ran out of track and had to settle for silver. Still, Bobocea achieved a personal best and claimed a first major championships medal in the process – Ennaoui also recorded a personal best as she completed the podium.
She bluffed a little bit in there, she chanced that she would have enough of a lead by the time she started to tie up
– Paula Radcliffe
After the event, Muir said: “I didn’t really know what to expect and all my race plans went out the window when it went off that fast. At the end of the day you have to be adaptable in the 1,500m and it worked out in the end. I’m in a place now where I’m experienced and I can deal with different things. I’m just so happy.
“Going into this championship I was quite nervous because I didn’t think I was at my absolute best, but I hoped with grit and determination I would still be able to come here and win. As you get older you appreciate these opportunities.”
British running legend Paula Radcliffe: “It’s really special for a number of reasons, number one being that she herself said she is not 100%. She bluffed a little bit in there, she chanced that she would have enough of a lead by the time she started to tie up. She relied on her instinct. All of those things make her the complete package.”
Katie Snowden and Ellie Baker, the two other British runners in the final, finished fifth and 11th respectively.