World Indoor Championships: Britain's Richard Kilty stuns sprint rivals in 60m final
Last Updated: 09/03/14 4:47pm
Richard Kilty: British sprinter celebrates at Sopot's Ergo Arena
Britain's Richard Kilty was the surprise winner of the 60 metres gold medal at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland.
Kilty, only in the team due to James Dasaolu's injury, triumphed in a personal best time of 6.49 seconds.
The 24-year-old from Stockton made the best start and was able to hang on in the closing metres, American Marvin Bracy taking silver in 6.51s.
"For the last few years all I have done is get slated by the media and people in my home country."
Nigerian-born Qatari Femi Ogunode was awarded bronze (6.52s) after officials studied a photo-finish of Ogunode, China's Bingtian Su and Zambian Gerald Phiri.
Kilty's veteran team-mate Dwain Chambers, going for a fourth straight medal in the event, was sixth in 6.53.
Point to prove
"I can't believe it. This is a dream come true," said Kilty, who considered quitting athletics after failing to gain selection for the 2012 London Olympics.
"I told my dad four years ago that I would be world champion and to have done it, I feel like crying."
After an unsuccessful appeal against his Olympics omission, Kilty thought about walking away from the sport or possibly representing Ireland, saying he felt "let down" by governing body British Athletics.
He also suffered a torn hamstring and was struggling to get by without any funding, but returned to the track in January 2013 and posted enough impressive times to be restored to the funding programme in October.
"This proves that the selectors got it wrong in 2012," added Kilty. "For the last few years all I have done is get slated by the media and people in my home country.
"I considered quitting because I had no income and had to train on the road in trainers. I couldn't afford to get to the track. Nobody's had it harder than me last year.
"Thankfully my dad Kevin persuaded me I had the talent and told me to give it another year and this is for him and all my fans and supporters. I think my dad was watching it in a pub with friends so I am sure there will be some big celebrations."
Minutes earlier, Tiffany Porter had claimed Britain's first medal of the championships with a bronze in the women's 60m hurdles.
Porter, who won silver two years ago, was hampered by a slow start but produced a strong finish to record a season's best of 7.86s, just 0.01s behind Olympic champion Sally Pearson.
Nia Ali of the United States secured gold in a personal best time of 7.80s.
Luke Cutts finished eighth in the pole vault final, bowing out with three failures at 5.75m.