Adam Kszczot has collected silver medals from the past three global championships indoors and out but today he finally achieved an upgrade as he sped to a dominant 800m victory.
The 28-year-old 2014 world indoor runner-up took off like a rocket from the midway point --reached in 55.77-- to capture the most important win of his career, the pinnacle of a superb season in which the Pole notched up no less than eight straight victories over the four-lap distance, including top honours in the IAAF World Indoor Tour.
The five-time indoor and outdoor European champion has now completed the set of world indoor medals, despite tonight’s golden performance coming in his second-slowest time of the winter.
“My first gold for the world indoors - now I have a nice collection of all three medals,” said Kszczot who clocked 1:47.47, after dedicating the victory to his one-year-old son. “It may look easy from the outside but it was a very difficult race, especially mentally. I knew that the Spaniards would watch me but I was ready for this, I knew how to deal with it.
“I have cooperated with a famous psychologist so it has helped me a lot,” he continued. “I just fixed my mind and went for the victory.”
In the silver medal position, Spain’s 2015 European U23 silver medallist Saul Ordonez registered 1:48.01 to push British hope Elliot Giles into the bronze medal spot with 1:48.22. [Note: please see Jury of Appeals decision below for an update on the medallists.]
The 23-year-old European outdoor bronze medallist again excited his local Birchfield Harriers club supporters, as he sped to his first global championship medal in the process.
Having improved his lifetime best by over two seconds in the semi-final with 1:45.46 in this, his debut indoor season, Giles sprinted into the medals in the closing metres and was followed home by Spain’s European indoor bronze medallist, Alvaro de Arriba, who clocked 1:48.51 for fourth place.
Mostafa Smaili of Morocco, the 2016 world junior bronze medallist, paid the price for taking on the early lead until the 400m mark (through 200m in 26.73) and finished in 1:48.75 for fifth, one placing ahead of his 2016 position.
Meanwhile, Drew Windle of the USA, who ran from fourth to second over the final 40 metres, was later disqualified from the silver medal position for jostling. (See below.)
Nicola Sutton for the IAAF