With less than 150 days until Glasgow 2019, we have delved back into the archives to relive the thrilling 32nd edition of the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Gothenburg.
Coming off the back of Team GB’s remarkable success at London 2012 in the summer beforehand, the pressure was well and truly on Great Britain to deliver another gold rush in Sweden.
While it was slow going at first, the young team finished with a flourish as they picked up six medals, including three golds, on the final day of the three-day event.
Great Britain ultimately finished third in the medal table, behind France and Russia, but not before delivering many of the standout performances at the Scandinavium Arena.
Double gold for Shakes-Drayton
Perri Shakes-Drayton had a point to prove going into the European Indoor Athletics Championships in 2013, after missing out on the 400m hurdles final at the Olympics.
Injury cost the London-born runner her chance at glory in front of a home crowd in 2012, but she showed exactly what she could do as she claimed double gold in Gothenburg.
She claimed her first individual gold at a major championship in the 400m with her second personal best in two days – crossing the line in 50.85 to edge out team-mate Eilidh Child.
Shakes-Drayton then returned to the track to anchor the 4x400m team, featuring Child, Shana Cox and Christine Ohuruogu to victory ahead of Russia and the Czech Republic.
The quartet, led off by Child, dominated from start to finish as they won in a new championship record of 3:27.56 to cap off a perfect few days for Shakes-Drayton.
Reflecting on her golden double and bouncing back from London 2012, Shakes-Drayton said: “With every disappointment I think you get stronger and that’s the case with me.”
Drama in men’s relay
It was not just the women’s 4x400m team who starred on the final night of action for Great Britain, with the men’s quartet also delivering a gold medal in their final.
Michael Bingham, Richard Buck, Nigel Levine and Richard Strachan clocked 3:06.96 to top the podium, finishing more than a second clear of nearest rivals Russia.
But their triumph was not quite as straightforward as it appeared on paper, though, with Great Britain almost having their moment in the sun taken away by the officials.
They were initially disqualified after Buck was adjudged to have come off the track, but that was overturned when it emerged he had been knocked by a Polish rival.
It was the second medal of the championships for Levine, who also produced a second’s best to take silver in the men’s 400 metres behind Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslák.
The result even took Levine by surprise.
“I can’t believe it,” the Bedford athlete said. “It’s the first time I’ve made the European final and to get silver, I’m speechless.”
Jump-off delight for Bradshaw
Pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw came of age at the European Indoor Championships in 2013 as she held her nerve to come out on top in a jump-off for gold.
The 21-year-old, who had finished sixth at London 2012, found herself in the thick of a showdown with Poland’s Anna Pogowska as they put space between themselves and the rest of the field.
But after both athletes failed with their three attempts at 4.72m, they were given the option of sharing the gold medal or going into a jump-off as they could not be separated on countback.
Despite her opponent having ten years of experience and multiple medals on her, Bradshaw backed herself and opted for a chance at solo glory for Great Britain’s first gold of the championships.
After both failed their fourth jump at 4.72m, the bar was moved down to 4.67m and Bradshaw took advantage of Rogowska’s failure to secure her first European Indoor Championships title.
“I was in the moment and I felt really good and thought if I got my jump together I could clear the bar easily,” she said.
“I thought instead of sharing gold, why not get it for myself.”
Vicaut triumphs in photo finish.
Only the narrowest of margins could separate gold from silver in the men’s 60 metres as France’s Jimmy Vicaut edged out James Dasaolu in a photo finish.
The Briton matched Vicaut across the finish line as both ran the same 6.48sec world-leading time, but the Frenchman was ultimately given the gold by officials after a review of the pictures.
Dasaolu set two new personal bests en route to claiming silver, his first ever senior medal, with Italian Michael Tumi collecting bronze in 6.52sec.
“I’m still trying to take it in,” said the then 25-year-old. “I’ve just run 6.48, which is a really quick time, and on top of that I got a silver. It’s my first world lead ever, so I’m extremely happy.”
Elsewhere, Eelco Sintnicolaas took the headlines in the heptathlon with a world-leading performance as he finished ahead of France’s Kevin Mayer and Mihail Dudas, of Serbia.
Russian Sergey Shubenkov also topped the podium in the 60 metres hurdles, bettering Paolo Dal Molin of Italy and France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who set a new personal best.