British sprinter is beaten by Mujunga Kambundji and Ewa Swoboda at the European Indoor Champs in Istanbul but she knows she has made great strides this winter
Daryll Neita was disappointed to win 60m bronze on Friday night in Istanbul, but the British sprinter knows her indoor campaign has been a success and she is confident it will translate into a superb summer season.
Neita did not get out of the blocks as well as she hoped and clocked 7.12 as Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland sped to gold in 7.00 and Ewa Swoboda of Poland took silver with 7.09.
Kambundji equalled the championship record held by Nelli Cooman of the Netherlands too.
“I really wanted to do better than that,” Neita shrugged. “But I have to be happy as I’ve been pretty consistent. It’s been a great indoor season.”
Last month Neita gave Dina Asher-Smith’s UK record of 7.04 a scare with a 7.05 victory in Berlin. She also captured the British title in Birmingham.
She has been training for the past year in Italy with coach Marco Airale and athletes such as Reece Prescod and Adam Gemili and things have clearly gone well.
After a 7.07 semi-final, Neita looked like she could win gold but she said: “I feel like my execution of the start wasn’t too good. I’m starting with the best starters in the world and to be with them is amazing because I know my top-end speed is good and I’m super-confident going into the outdoor season.”
She added: “My name is in the mix now in the 60m whereas before I was non-existent. My name’s on the scene so people have to try pretty hard to beat me.”
Kambundji, who won the world indoor title 12 months ago in Belgrade, said: “To equal the championships record is an honour for me. There have been many European championships and now I can be even happier for this result. Even if you are in a good shape, you first have to do it.”
An indoor specialist with a blistering start, Cooman won six European indoor titles in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Neita’s team-mate, Asha Philip, did not have a great night though as she exited in the semi-final stage with 7.35. “I know I’m so much better than that. This wasn’t my time but I’m just going to push forward and look forward to the summer season.”
» Subscribe to AW magazine here