Gourley ready to rumble in Torun

neil gourley

Several GB&NI team athletes are capable of making the podium at this week’s European Indoor Championships in Poland and Neil Gourley is in the midst of a purple patch with a recent 3:35.79 PB in his main event, the 1500m.

A short programme on Thursday evening heralds the start of the championships before the main action takes place from Friday through to Sunday. BBC Sport is covering the event across a number of platforms including online and on BBC Two.

Scottish Endurance trio Neil Gourley (handicap -6.6) , Andy Butchart (handicap -6.6) and Guy Learmonth (handicap -6.5) all face qualifying heats in their events and will be pressed to the podium by team-mates Piers Copeland (handicap -6.4), Jack Rowe (handicap -6.0) and Jamie Webb (handicap -6.4) who have shown impressive form it the run up along with Archie Davis (handicap -5.7) and late addition Phil Sesemann (handicap -6.1) in the men's events.

Neil Gourley hopes he can "right the wrongs" of his previous European Indoor Championships disappointment in 2019 with an impressive final showing this week over 1500m in Torun.

At the last staging in Glasgow, Gourley reached the 1500m final but illness prevented him from taking part.  "I was already taking nothing for granted, but from that day forward it is a case of you don't know how many chances you will get at this. That is all the more true now, it is certainly an extra bit of motivation to try and right the wrongs from then. “

The champion from 2019, Marcin Lewandowski, is Polish, so the home favourite will be well pressed by GB&NI’s best.

Neil reflects in a recent interview here.

In the women's 800m we have three U23 runners which augurs well for the future.  Keely Hodgkinson (handicap -2.1) heads the list with her recent European U20 record along with Ellie Baker (handicap – 1.5) and Isabelle Boffey (handicap -1.5)

In the 1500m, Holly Archer (handicap -1.2) and Katie Snowden (handicap -1.7) are closely matched and will look to develop their championship racing craft and feature in the finals.  In the 3000m, Verity Ockenden (handicap -1.7) looks most impressive ahead of 2 mile record holder Amy-Eloise Markovc (handicap -2.2) and the longer endurance speacilist, Amelia Quirk (handicap -1.9)


BBC Athletics starts on Thursday from 6pm - Preview here

Photo credit Bobby Gavin @scotathletics

The BBC will have live coverage from all four days of the championships, with the action available to watch across the BBC Red Button, the BBC iPlayer or right here via the BBC Sport website and app.

All of the coverage will also be available on catch-up on the iPlayer.

Thursday, 4 March

Evening session

Qualifying events and round one distance events

17:30-20:00 – BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and mobile app


Friday, 5 March

Morning session

Qualifying and first round events

09:00-12:15, BBC Two

12:15-13:00, BBC Sport website

Evening session

Gold medals: Women's shot put, men's long jump, men's shot put, women's pentathlon, women's 3,000m, men's 1500m

18:00-18:30, BBC Red Button

18:00-21:00, BBC Sport website

18:30-21:00, BBC Two

Full coverage details here.