In every sense of the phrase, high-jump hero Dalton Grant used the European Athletics Indoor Championships as a springboard for his career.
Grant was a man for the big occasion, a three-time Olympian who took home a hatful of medals from continental competition.
Indeed, he saved his lifetime best jump for the European Athletics Indoor Championships, gold in Paris back in 1994 one of his signal victories.
No Brit came close to matching the feats of Scot Alan Paterson – until Grant came along and became the first to reach the world’s top ten in the discipline since Paterson’s 50’s heyday.
Morgan Lake will hope to take inspiration from his example as she bids for victory at Glasgow 2019, set for March 1-3 at the Emirates Arena.
Grant was born in 1966, a defining year in British sport, but soon set about making his own his history.
Hailing from Hackney to parents from Jamaica, he made his senior debut in Scotland, finishing seventh at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow also proved a rich seam of results for Grant, who broke a British high jump record in the iconic city along the way too.
And it was in national competitions he first made his mark – and how, setting nine successive national records in an event Britain had historically struggled.
Grant, known for his effervescent personality, was capped no fewer than six times at the European Athletics Indoor Championships, an event with which he shared a rich relationship.
Rising to the occasion
In the late 1980’s, the airwaves were dominated in no uncertain terms by Patrik Sjoberg, the all-conquering Swede who scooped no fewer than four European indoor titles.
Grant watched on for two of those golds, at Lievin 1987 and Budapest 1988, soaking up a growing sense of exactly what it took to top the rostrum at a major championships.
Far from fearing the big occasion, the London Youth Games trailblazer relished getting his teeth into major events.
“As long as everyone is competing on the same field, that was it,” Grant said in 2016.
“I had a very strong mindset and no matter where I was, I knew I was going to perform.
“The key to being an elite athlete is peaking at the right time. I would say I did because I always did my best jumps at major championships.”
Pitch perfect in Paris
Those words were borne out in 1994 when Grant’s finest hour came in Paris.
Sheer confidence in his own ability, that became his trademark after opting to enter the Seoul Olympics at an extremely late stage, yielded rousing rewards.
After failing to clear 2.35m in the final, where both Jean-Charles Gicquel and Wolf-Hendrik Beyer had succeeded, Grant upped the stakes and leapt 2.37m to seal a remarkable victory.
This would stand as a lifetime best, with his best outdoor effort 2.36m at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.
Having finished fourth at the 1997 World Championships, 1998 was another superb year for Grant as he claimed silver at the European Championships and then Commonwealth gold.
Having stepped back from the sport, the east-end marvel played a key role in the successful London 2012 Olympic bid and also popped up helping coach Dagenham & Redbridge FC.
So in every sense, Grant leaves a legacy for British stars to follow at Glasgow 2019.
The European Athletics Indoor Championship Glasgow 2019 is guaranteed to give the Scottish crowd unmissable entertainment. The full competition schedule is now live on www.glasgow2019athletics.com with tickets selling out fast, make sure you grab yours for your favourite event.