Andrew Pozzi admitted his Commonwealth Games bronze medal was “all heart” after diving over the line to complete the podium in a dramatic finish to the 110m hurdles.
Four years after a mistake on the first hurdle saw him finish sixth on the Gold Coast, the 30-year-old edged out England teammate Joshua Zeller to take third in Birmingham.
Just 0.02 seconds separated them on the line as Pozzi finished flat on his face after a last-gasp lunge, with Jamaica’s Rasheed Broadbell taking gold at Alexander Stadium after Olympic champion Hansle Parchment pulled out before the start of the final.
And after claiming the Commonwealth medal that had previously eluded him, Stratford-upon-Avon’s Pozzi was over the moon to get the just reward for his effort.
“I’m really happy,” he said. “It has been such a tough season and I just haven’t quite got on top of things. That was all heart. It’s the crowd who give us that energy.
“That wouldn’t have happened in another stadium. I dove for the line and just about got there. I’ve got so much experience now, but you must make it pay.
“I’ve been so close to major medals several times; I’ve obviously won several as well. I’m moving so well this year but just not quite getting those finer points that are needed in hurdling.
"I was just desperate to get there. That medal was really needed. People probably don’t understand the toll the last few years have had on athletes.
“The Covid year, a delayed Olympics. It’s tough enough at the best of times. To have a home Championships is everything. Therefore, we hang about.”
Pozzi’s medal follows hot on the heels of the gold medal won by his girlfriend and fellow England teammate Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the heptathlon the night before.
And having been a fixture in the senior set-up for a decade since competing at London 2012, Pozzi stopped short of calling his Birmingham bronze redemption for his Gold Coast heartbreak.
“It was getting close at the end, all season I have struggled with the last couple of hurdles,” said Pozzi, who grew up competing at Alexander Stadium before its revamp.
“I’m in good physical shape but it’s such a technical event that the faster you’re going, the tight the hurdles are at the end you must be really disciplined.
“I felt myself at the end getting a little bit close and coming of ten I still felt like I was in it and then it was just a mad dive for the line really. I didn’t think I’d quite got it, so I’m very happy.
“I was really focused, being in an outside lane you’re not going to get a feel for where everyone else is. When you’re in the middle you know what’s going on.
“I was just trying to say focused on my own lane and take each hurdle as it came. For the most part I think it did a really good job but towards the end it started to unravel a bit.
“But with that being the case I’m happy to leave with a medal. I don’t know about redemption (for Gold Coast), you always must take the good and the bad together.
“Australia was a big moment for me and unfortunately didn’t quite go my way that night and then today being able to leave with a medal I’m really pleased, especially to do it here in Birmingham.”
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