European Indoor Athletics: Champion Richard Kilty leads British trio into 60m semis

Richard Kilty
Richard Kilty won gold at the last European Indoors in Prague in 2015
European Indoor Championships
Venue: Belgrade, Serbia Dates: 3-5 March
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, Connected TV, Red Button and the BBC Sport website. Full details and times

British men's trio Richard Kilty, Theo Etienne and Andy Robertson all won their 60m heats at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade.

Defending champion Kilty, 27, qualified fastest in 6.61 seconds, ahead of Etienne (6.62) and Robertson (6.66).

The trio will race again in the semi-finals at around 17:35 GMT on Saturday, before the final at 20:00 GMT.

In the women's event, Asha Philip also won her heat to advance comfortably to Sunday's semi-finals.

"The semi-final will be a race to watch, that's for sure," said British champion Robertson.

"I've raced Kilty since I was a youth and I know we race each other so well. I'm in really good shape at the moment and I'm feeling confident."

Team-mate Kilty, who also took world indoor gold in 2014, was similarly bullish after his heat.

"Coming in as a world and European champion, there's nothing I haven't won at this event," he said.

Fellow Briton Etienne was prepared to admit to nerves on his championships debut.

The 21-year-old told BBC Sport: "I was quite nervous at first but you have to treat championships like any other race. I'm happy to get it over and done with.

"I'm just really happy to be here. I was disappointed not to go to [the 2016 World Indoors in] Portland but I'm here now and that's what really matters."

Philip and Ugen ease through

Asha Philip
Asha Philip finished fifth in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships in Portland

In the women's competition, Asha Philip looked comfortable winning her heat in 7.25secs, fifth fastest overall going into Sunday's semi-finals.

"You want to qualify for a good lane and winning that heat helped me," the 26-year-old told BBC Sport.

"I don't want to kill myself because three rounds is hard. The boys have had to do it all in one day so I feel sorry for them. We've got an extra day to recover so I'm grateful for that."

In the long jump, world indoor bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen qualified for the final at her first attempt.

The 25-year-old jumped a season's best 6.80m, passing the 6.60m automatic qualification mark. Team-mate Jazmin Sawyers missed that mark but joins Ugen in the final after finishing seventh overall with a best of 6.54.

Robbie Grabarz and Allan Smith qualified for Sunday's high jump final, but fellow Briton Chris Kandu missed out after finishing 10th in qualifying.

BBC

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