Laura Muir is one of the most experienced racers at the 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships. Stuart Weir wrote this piece on Laura Muir had her quest for gold in Istanbul. The final is Saturday night, March 4, 2023, in Istanbul, Turkey.
Laura Muir qualified for the 1500m final on Saturday but with a little more effort than she might have hoped for. She won the race but the winning time of 4:23.20 does not convey the nature of the race. A pedestrian first half turned into a sprint with the top five separated by O.39 seconds.
Muir had explained in a post earlier this week that the indoor, for her is about breaking up long training blocks, giving her a gauge as to where she is in terms of fitness, and also reflects a love of racing.
Laura Muir, Istanbul 2023, photo by Chiara Montesano for European Athletics
She said that had been been “a while since I ran at that pace, and I think it showed! I wasn’t comfortable running at that pace, but it is fine!” adding that she knew the race would end like that: “It was so slow at the start and with several of the girls being 800 runners, I knew I had to put myself in position for when the fast burn up happened. I got the job done. I did intend to win it, but there were four of us there at the end”.
Laura almost had a mishap early in the race when “one of the girls in front of me stopped very quickly, and I almost ran into the back of her. But that is 1500 meters running for you. I wanted to stay at the back longer than I did, but people were just chopping a bit. I just wanted to go with the flow, but when I kept getting chopped a bit, I thought I was just going to hang wide and cover a move because it was so slow. You can run a bit further when it’s that slow. And when the pace picked up, it was fine”.
In the two previous European Championships, Laura had run 1500 and 3000, but that was never in the 2023 plans as she explained that there had been “specific reasons why we did that in Belgrade and Glasgow”.
Having won four gold medals at the past two Europeans, Laura admitted that “the only way from there was down, but I want to keep that medal tally going. It’s gonna be tough. The Euros gets harder year by year but then I am part of that”.