World Indoors – finals and our overall round-up of action for five Scots

Sunday 20th March 2022

All photographs with thanks to Mark Shearman Athletics Images.

World Indoor Champs Results

Our first World Indoor Champs round up (Fri & Sat am)

By Sue Gyford

Neil Gourley and Guy Learmonth took to the track for World Indoor Champs finals on Sunday, in the 1500m and 4x400m relay respectively. That followed an impressive run by GB debutant Adam Thomas in the 60m final on Saturday evening.


For Neil Gourley in the 1500m final it was a strong 3:35.87 run for 6th place, in a fast race where Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera upset Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s ambitions, beating him to 1st in a CBP of 3:32.77.

Neil reflected afterwards on the journey that had brought him to racing at the highest level: “It was incredibly tough and was pushed hard from the gun which I thought would happen and I don’t think anyone was surprised by the fact it went out hard and that Jakob took it on.

“It’s the style of race that I’m getting better at. The more aerobically strong I get the better I can handle it and that showed today as I was able to get sixth place, but there are some mixed emotions that I couldn’t get nearer the medals but I have to be happy with that.

“When I was young, all I ever wanted out of the sport was to represent my country one day, maybe get a Scotland vest, that would have been enough for me and I could have called myself a good athlete and had a good career. Everything else is a bonus and it’s just about paying back the people that have put their faith in me at this point. Sixth in the world I wouldn’t have even dreamed of or thought I was talented enough. If I could go back to being young and struggling in this sport and tell myself that, I never would have believed me.”

Guy Learmonth was named in the 4x400m relay team, and in Sunday morning’s heat, with teammates Alex Haydock-Wilson, Ben Higgins and Samuel Reardon, placed 3rd – enough to take them through to the final. It was a tough ask for the 800m runner to take on a track full of 400m specialists in the final leg, and the team finished 6th in that final – but great to see Guy taking on the challenge and giving it his all.

He reflected after the final: “It was tough, I knew the boys had put me in a good position but I knew there were some demons in the other teams on the final leg who are seasoned pros in 400m running and especially relay running. I felt like I held my own and did all I could. The last 50m was sore but, you know, I felt like I gave everything I had. We were really hoping to get a medal when we got to this final. It’s a major step in the right direction especially for the 400m lads so hopefully everyone can build on this.”

Saturday evening

In Saturday’s evening session, it was all about Adam Thomas, who scooped an impressive 5th place in the 60m final – on his GB debut.

Adam followed up on his first round qualification earlier in the day with 2nd place in the semi final with a run of 6.57, putting him straight through. Then in a stacked final, he ran 6.60 for 5th place – a superb performance when taking his first GB vest.

He said: “It has been an amazing day, such a fun experience. I probably gave a little bit too much in that semi-final. My first 30m, I was really pleased with that but I got stuck in my hips and didn’t get up into my running. Then in the final I fell a bit flat on strides five to seven and had way too much to do to work myself back into the race.

“But I can’t complain, I’m lining up next to Marcell Jacobs – he may have blown me away a little bit in the final but it was an amazing experience. I look up to those guys from a technical perspective, but you meet them and they are just nice and normal guys. You don’t have to lay out the red carpet for them, and let them beat you.

“When I look back on my three races, they have given me so much fuel for the summer season. I am targeting the Commonwealth Games and it would be very special for me to compete for Scotland this summer.”


It’s hard to believe that these Championships played out over a span of only three days, so packed were they with action and drama.

There was Ukrainian high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh’s emotional victory after a three-day journey from her warn-stricken homeland; GB&NI hurdler Dave King’s finals selection via the draw of names from a ballot (following a tied finish in the semi final with Japan’s Shusei Nomoto); and of course Mondo Duplantis setting (another!) indoor pole vault record by jumping 6.20m in the very last moments of the contest, after having to step aside to make way for the relay finals. The talking points were plentiful.

And there was indeed much to please those of us watching the Scots on the GB&NI team. Congratulations not only to the athletes, but to their coaches too – named in brackets below.

The full round up of performances is as follows:

Erin Wallace (Andy Young, Giffnock North AC) – Ran 4:12.46 for 5th place in the 1500m heats – not enough to progress to the final, but a great learning experience as she moves into the senior international ranks.

Guy Learmonth (Justin Rinaldi, Lasswade) – First appeared in the 800m, where he ran 1:49.13 for 3rd place in the heats. With only two from each heat progressing, that sadly meant no final for him. He returned to the track to take the anchor leg with the 4x400m relay team, moving through the heats in 3rd. In the final it was a 6th place finish.

Jenny Selman (Lewis Walker, Fife AC) – Came within a hair’s breadth of the 800m final – a run of 2:02.00 in her heat put her in 3rd place, only to see Canadian Lindsey Butterworth knock 1/100th second off that time in a subsequent heat and take the finals slot. But an impressive performance from Jenny with her first GB senior vest in a year that she is already making her own.

Neil Gourley (Ben Thomas, Giffnock North) – Stormed the final lap of his 1500m heat to win in 3:42.79, taking him straight through the final. He then put in a quality run of  3:35.87 for 6th place in a final that was fast from the off and dominated by the Tefera/Ingebrigtsen battle for 1st place.

Adam Thomas (Bracknell AC) – Ran 6.59 in his 60m heat, and 6.57 in his semi-final, both times taking 2nd place and securing automatic progression. In the final he made it 6.60 for 5th place – an incredible achievement for his first outing at this level. And if his post-race interviews are anything to go by, deserving of a special award for ‘happiest athlete’ on the team…


Tags: Adam Thomas, Erin Wallace, Guy Learmonth, Jenny Selman, Neil Gourley, World Indoor Champs, World Indoor Champs 2022, World Indoors

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