Magic Muir is a double champion

Magic Muir is a double champion
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Great Britain's Laura Muir completed an incredible 1500m/3000m middles distance double on the final day of the Belgrade 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships.

Laura Muir became only the second woman to achieve the 1500m/3000m double at the European Athletics Indoor Championships with a mesmerising performance in Belgrade today.

Even by her extraordinary standards over the first 10 weeks of 2017, Muir's triumph in the 3000m at the Kombank Arena was one which will have sent shockwaves around the world.

A veterinary student in Glasgow, this was a display that simply dissected the rest of the field, and that included Turkey's European 5000m and 10,000 champion Yasemin Can.

Less than 24 hours after Muir, 23, had stormed to victory in the 1500m to secure the first major track title of her career, she was in electrifying form once again.

Can knew she had to be at the front – which is normally her style anyway – and from the end of the first lap as she led, Muir was the smallest of strides behind her.

Even when Can edged into the maximum of three metres lead, it was never going to trouble Muir who was just biding her time.

And then, with 300m left, the Scottish rocket just took off.

In an instant she was gone, with a change of gear that was just thrilling to watch to transport her to victory in a championship record of 8:35.67 from Can, in a national record of 8:43.46, with Britain winning bronze, too, with fellow Scottish star Eilish McColgan in 8:47.43.

Muir, who ran the last 400m in 60.4, had no trouble either on her lap of honour this time after at first being blocked by an official following her 1500m glory.

“I am thrilled about winning double gold and about the championship record,” said Muir. “I am probably going to have to sleep now.”

But before that, she had another important duty, being part of the official handover of these championships to the next European indoors in her home city of Glasgow in 2019.

Who knows how many titles she will have by then?

Her success today means she joins Poland's Lidia Chojecka as the only women to win this double at these Championships but for a moment, digest the length of her success.

The fact Muir won by almost eight seconds is staggering considering she beat an athlete of the class of Can and she will now become one of Europe's major hopes for gold at this summer's IAAF World Athletics Championships in London.

This winter she has broken the European 1000m and 3000m records, her win on Saturday came in a British record and she is a name on the lips of so many.

It was a day to remember for Britain's women as Asha Philip produced the performance of her life to smash the national 60m record to win gold in 7.06.

Philip, an Olympic relay bronze medallist from last summer, came through from lane six in the final 20 metres to overtake Ukraine's Olesya Povh in lane three to become the first British woman to win this event since Bev Kinch in Gothenburg in 1984.

Victory also came in a European leading time, with Povh second in 7.10, a pb, and Poland's world junior 100m silver medallist Ewa Swoboda third, also in 7.10.

“With the girls on the left of me, I did not know what was going on,” said Philip, 26. “There is always that scare factor of 'Where did I come?'. I am so happy – the record and the pb is a bonus.

“I believed in myself, I did not have any nerves like I usually do. I controlled it.”

If the 3000m had been a procession, the 800m final could not have been closer as Switzerland's Selina Buchel successfully defended her title by just 0.01 from Great Britain's Shelayna Oskan-Clarke.

It was impossible to tell who had won, after Buchel had led going into the home straight with Oskan-Clarke cutting her advantage down as the finish grew nearer.

Both athletes threw themselves across the line, with Buchel triumphant after a photo-finish in a national record of 2.00.38 as Oskan-Clarke broke her personal best with Iceland's Anita Hinriksdottir (2:01.25) in third.

It was a brilliant defence of the title by Buchel, who said: “That was the race I expected it to be. I knew it would be a hard fight. I enjoy those races a great deal – and even more when I am the winner.”

Oskan-Clarke said: “I have to be happy with a pb but I wanted more because I was so strong.”

Hinriksdottir was delighted with bronze and said: “My dream was to win a medal in Belgrade and I made it.”

The women's programme came to an end with the 4x400m relay which brought gold for Poland as they were brought home by Justyna Swiety, the individual 400m bronze medallist, in 3:29.94 from Britain in 3:31.05 and Ukraine in 3:32.10.

Britain had taken control of the first two legs with Eilidh Doyle and Phillippa Lowe in front but halfway through the third leg, Poland's Iga Baumgart went past Mary Iheke to take a lead Poland would not relinquish.

Patricia Wyciszkiewicz and Malgorzata Holub had run Poland's opening two legs, a great foundation for Baumgart who handed onto Swiety to secure the triumph.