Wearing her bright yellow lucky spikes, Great Britain's Laura Muir completed a memorable winter by winning double gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade last March.
Muir celebrated the first major international title of her career as she triumphed in the 1500m – where she had to dodge around an over-zealous official who initially would not let her go on a lap of honour – before winning the 3000m on the last day of the championships.
The opening day of the championships was a busy day for her as she ran the 3000m heats in the morning and then the 1500m heats in the evening where she had to battle against the emerging German talent Konstanze Klosterhalfen and home favourite Amela Terzic but she qualified by right.
Her double success came after a winter season in which she had broken European 1000m and 3000m indoor records, along with a slew of domestic records, and earned praise from the highest source.
IAAF President and compatriot Sebastian Coe, himself a former European indoor champion, had said: “She's in that purple patch of her career that athletes get into and it strikes me that she is stepping out onto the track thinking she is not going to be beaten.”
On the Saturday night of the championships in the Serbian capital, Muir broke the 32-year-old 1500m championship record and British record when she won the 1500m in 4:02.39.
At the finish, when she was stopped from going around again, nobody was going to get in her way. “The official said, ‘We don’t have time’. I thought ‘It’s my first medal. I am not going to lose out on my lap of honour. I am going’. I never envisaged breaking the British record, it's brilliant,” reflected Muir.
By the final night in Belgrade, the veterinary student from Glasgow had such an aura over her rivals that her win in the 3000m saw her beat Turkey's European Yasemin Can, the reigning European 5000m, 10,000m and cross country champion, by almost eight seconds, most of the advantage amassed over the last two laps.
Her winning time of 8:35.67 also improved the championship record set back in 1996.