Local hero Andy Pozzi strikes World Indoor gold and reveals “several times” he could have quit athletics
Andy Pozzi conquered the world last night then revealed how close he had come to quitting athletics.
Britain’s co-captain brought a golden curtain down on the World Indoor Championships in his home city by winning the final individual event.
He then admitted that the run of injuries which had wrecked the first few years of his senior career almost drove him to see alternative employment.
“I take great strength from the fact that I’ve been in such a low place at times in my career,” he said after coming from behind to win the 60m hurdles in thrilling style in 7.46secs.
“It’s something I don’t shy away from. There have been several times where it would have been easier to deal with to go and do something else.
“I did a masters degree in management and finance so I was looking at financial services and had a couple of options in that area.
“But my heart wasn’t in it. I would not have been able to live out the rest of my life wondering what might have been.”
He finally caught a glimpse of the promised land when capturing the European indoor title in Belgrade a year ago.
And yesterday, roared on by friends and family who had made the short trip from his birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon, the bard of the boards proved all’s well that end’s well.
A championship which had begun with 3000m bronze for Laura Muir in the opening event, ended with Pozzi picking up Britain’s seventh medal – a total only bettered by the United States.
Fittingly Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, the host nation’s other captain, added to the tally on the final day – taking bronze in the 800m before the relay women followed suit.
But the stage belonged to Pozzi, who recovered from hitting the second hurdle, to beat US opponent Jarret Eaton on the dip.
“I’ve felt ever since 2012 that I have what it takes to be a world and Olympic champion,” he added. “That’s what kept me going and I fought through it even when it looked like I was mistaken.
“I honestly believe I have everything it takes to be the best hurdler in the world and I wouldn’t have stuck it out if I didn’t genuinely believe that.
“I’m on the right track now so it’s just about keeping on the right track to Tokyo.”