Sheffield is known for its former steel industry and the competitors in the Women’s 60 metre hurdles final certainly needed nerves of steel as they contended first with a faulty start and then a disqualification from a second false start. Among the line-up at the British Athletics Indoor Team Trials, drawn in adjacent lanes, were Cheltenham Harriers Sophie Yorke winner of Heat 2 with a new PB of 8.44s and Mollie Courtney, winner of Heat 3 in a Season’s Best of 8.36s – the fastest qualifying time overall. However with a time differential of less than 0.2 seconds separating the top 8 it was always going to be a closely fought affair. The competitors got away cleanly at the third attempt with Mollie recording the quickest reaction time (0.138s). Just over 8 seconds later an ecstatic Mollie Courtney was handed a Union Flag having crossed the line first to be crowned the 2017 British Indoor Champion in a new PB of 8.32s. Sophie Yorke claimed bronze in 8.46s with just 0.03s separating 2nd and 3rd places. Draped in the Union Flag Mollie gave an excited but eloquent trackside interview with former GB international hurdler Andy Turner before climbing the podium alongside Sophie and 2nd placed Emma Nwofor for the medals ceremony.For Sophie Yorke it was the culmination of a busy couple of days as she recorded Season’s Bests in the 60 metre heat (7.62s – 4th) and semi-final (7.61s – 5th) on the first day of the championships.
Coach David Warner commented. “Both girls have had to adapt to major changes in their lives with Mollie beginning her University studies and Sophie leaving school and starting work on a shift pattern. These have had a significant influence on their training schedules and it is a great credit that they have continued to train so hard and have delivered Season’s Bests and Personal Bests, when it really counts in a major championship. I am immensely proud of their achievements. Both still have a couple of races to go during the indoor season before they turn their attention to the summer programme.”
Mollie has been invited to compete in this weekend’s televised Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham which is part of the IAAF World Indoor Tour.