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Series18 Mar 2017


That moment when... Kilty returned to the sport

Richard Kilty after winning the 2014 world indoor 60m title

Britain’s 2014 world indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty has enjoyed a medal-laden three years in the sport. Here the two-time European indoor champion talks of the key moment after the London 2012 Olympics when he decided to come out of retirement

 


 

“It was heart-breaking for me to miss out on qualifying for the London Olympics. Competing at my home Olympics is all I had ever dreamed about since the age of 15 when London secured the bid.

“Early in 2012 everything had looked on track. I was flying in warm weather training but then I suffered not one but three hamstring injuries. I was also going through some personal difficulties at the time and I quit the sport. For five months, I had no interest in the sport. I considered a new career in the army or the marines.

“Then around Christmas of 2012 I went for a walk by myself down by the river. It was on this walk I reflected on how I hard I’d trained for the previous 12 years. Had I not picked up an injury, I would have competed at the Olympics. I didn’t want to be the sort of person who had regrets, so I thought I should give the sport another go and I re-started training.

“To be honest, I didn’t have access to great facilities. I had no training partners and no coach but I started to lift weights and run hills. I thought that if I stay healthy and get the right competitive opportunities, I can do something. Within 14 months I was world indoor 60m champion.

“Coming out of retirement was the best decision I ever made. I have gone on to win not only a world title, but three European golds, a Commonwealth silver and a World Relays bronze. By returning to the sport I have met my fiancée, Dovile Dzindzaletaite, the European under-23 triple jump champion, and together we have a five-month-old baby boy, Richard Junior. My life has completely changed for the better. To come back to the sport has been an absolute blessing.”

Steve Landells for the IAAF