Great Britain’s Richard Kilty was hardly the favorite in the men’s 60 meters at the 2014 World Indoor Championships. Indeed, Kilty wasn’t even the best known British runner in the competition, with that distinction going to 2010 World Indoor champ Dwain Chambers. Kilty, who entered 2014 with a personal best of 6.62 seconds, won his opening heat in 6.53, then finished second in his semifinal – 0.02 behind Nesta Carter – in a new personal best 6.52. The 24-year-old then got a great start in the final and secured the victory with yet another lifetime best, winning the race in 6.49 seconds. American Marvin Bracy – a 20-year-old who bounced back from a shaky 6.60 performance in his initial heat – was second in 6.51, while Qatar’s Femi Ogunode was third in 6.52.
Kilty led everyone in the heats, finishing 0.04 ahead of Chambers and Germany’s Lucas Jakubczyk. Carter was fastest in the semis, followed by Kilty and Bracy – who won the third heat – while Qatar’s Femi Ogunode took the second heat in 6.55. The runners were tightly bunched in the final, with just 0.09 separating first from eighth place. Fourth-place Su Bingtian of China and fifth-place Gerald Phiri of Zambia, both of whom were credited with times of 6.52, set national records.
Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic ran the race of his life to earn the 400-meter gold medal. The fifth-place finisher at the Istanbul World Indoor Championships in 2012, Maslak started fast and took the lead when the runners broke from their lanes. He remained ahead to win in a national record 45.24. Chris Brown of the Bahamas – the 2010 World Indoor champ – was second in a personal best 45.58, while 23-year-old American Kyle Clemons charged hard down stretch to place third in 45.74, just ahead of 22-year-old teammate David Verburg (46.21).
Brown had led all runners in the heats at 45.84, with Maslak second in 46.01. Maslak then won the initial semifinal in 45.79 while the 35-year-old Brown took the second semi in 46.19.
Like Kilty, American Omo Osaghae was not favored in his event entering the Championships, which marked Osaghae’s major international debut. But he matched the favorites stride for stride in the final and gained a razor-thin edge after the final hurdle. Osaghae then out-leaned France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde at the line. Osaghae took the gold in a world-leading 7.45, followed by Martinot-Lagarde (7.46) and fellow Frenchman Garfield Darien (a personal best 7.47).
Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain ran a personal best 7.56 to share the lead in the heats with the two Frenchmen, although Pozzi edged Darien in the fourth heat while Martinot-Lagarde won his heat outright. Osaghae, who was second in his heat in 7.61, won his semifinal in a then-personal best 7.49. Osaghae edged Martinot-Lagarde by 0.01 in the semi, foreshadowing the final. Darien won the other semifinal, in 7.52.
4 x 400-Meter Relay
The final event of the 2014 World Indoor Championships produced the meet’s only world record, as the United States broke its own world indoor mark in the men’s 4 x 400-meter relay. The team of, Verburg, Kind Butler III and Calvin Smith finished in 3:02.13, to break the official mark of 3:02.83 set by the American squad at the 1999 World Indoor final. An American all-star team posted a time of 3:01.96 in 2006, but the result wasn’t ratified for record purposes because there was no EPO drug testing after the race.
In the 2014 final, Great Britain actually held a narrow lead after one leg as Conrad Williams passed the baton just before Clemons handed off to Verburg. But the second American quickly moved in front and the U.S. never trailed again. Butler maintained the lead, although both Great Britain and Jamaica remained within striking distance. But neither nation could overcome Smith, who posted a split time of 45.12 seconds. The British squad took the silver in 3:03.49 while Jamaica gained the bronze in a national indoor record time of 3:03.69.
The U.S., with Clayton Parros and Ricky Babineaux joining Butler and Smith, won its semifinal in 3:04.36, while Great Britain won the second heat in 3:06.09.
More from the 2014 World Indoor Championships: