(Reuters) - Briton Richard Kilty shocked the favourites to win the tightest ever 60 meters sprint final at the World Indoor Athletics Championships on Saturday.
“I told my dad four years ago that I’d be a world champion and to think I’ve come out and done that, I feel like crying,” the 24-year-old Kilty told reporters.
Kilty took the gold medal in a personal best time of 6.49 seconds overcoming American favorite Marvin Bracy and third-placed Qatari Femi Ogunode.
The eight finalists were separated by a mere 0.09 seconds in the race at the Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland.
Veteran fellow Briton Dwain Chambers and Jamaican Nesta Carter, respectively bronze and silver medalists at the championships in Istanbul two years ago, were sixth and seventh.
There was also a surprise winner in the women’s 60 meters hurdles with American Nia Ali beating Australian defending champion Sally Pearson to the line in a personal best 7.80 seconds. Britain’s Tiffany Porter was third.
“It wasn’t my night, but it was Nia’s and I have to congratulate her on a great performance,” Olympic 100 meters hurdles champion Pearson said.
“She was the best athlete out there and I have said all along that it isn’t about times, but instead about the athlete that can run the best race at the time and she did that.”
An African trio took the top three places in the men’s 1500 meters final with Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti winning in three minutes 37.52 to clinch his country’s first ever gold medal in a global athletics competition ahead of Ethiopian Aman Wote and Morocco’s Abdalaati Iguider.
Brazilian men’s long jumper Mauro Vinicius da Silva made a final leap of 8.28 meters to win gold and retain his title, an encouraging result for the South American with Rio de Janeiro hosting the Olympic Games in 2016.
China’s Li Jinzhe was second and Michel Torneus of Sweden third.
The men’s 400 meters final was won by European Champion Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic in 45.24 seconds, ahead of Chris Brown of the Bahamas and American Kyle Clemons.
The 35-year-old Brown won a record fifth medal in the event and now also has a complete set, equaling 1999 champion Jamie Baulch of Britain. Brown won gold in Doha in 2010.
Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown, going for a third successive title in the women’s 60 meters sprint, qualified for Sunday’s semi-finals in her heat, the sprinter’s first race since May after being cleared last month of a doping charge.
“When you don’t compete for a while, you get to feel a little rusty,” Campbell-Brown was quoted as saying on the BBC.
Writing by Rex Gowar in London' editing by Ken Ferris