Series18 Mar 2017

That moment when... Kilty returned to the sport


Richard Kilty after winning the 2014 world indoor 60m title (© Getty Images)

Britain’s 2014 world indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty has enjoyed a medal-laden three years in the sport. Here the two-time European indoor champion talks of the key moment after the London 2012 Olympics when he decided to come out of retirement



“It was heart-breaking for me to miss out on qualifying for the London Olympics. Competing at my home Olympics is all I had ever dreamed about since the age of 15 when London secured the bid.

“Early in 2012 everything had looked on track. I was flying in warm weather training but then I suffered not one but three hamstring injuries. I was also going through some personal difficulties at the time and I quit the sport. For five months, I had no interest in the sport. I considered a new career in the army or the marines.

“Then around Christmas of 2012 I went for a walk by myself down by the river. It was on this walk I reflected on how I hard I’d trained for the previous 12 years. Had I not picked up an injury, I would have competed at the Olympics. I didn’t want to be the sort of person who had regrets, so I thought I should give the sport another go and I re-started training.

“To be honest, I didn’t have access to great facilities. I had no training partners and no coach but I started to lift weights and run hills. I thought that if I stay healthy and get the right competitive opportunities, I can do something. Within 14 months I was world indoor 60m champion.

“Coming out of retirement was the best decision I ever made. I have gone on to win not only a world title, but three European golds, a Commonwealth silver and a World Relays bronze. By returning to the sport I have met my fiancée, Dovile Dzindzaletaite, the European under-23 triple jump champion, and together we have a five-month-old baby boy, Richard Junior. My life has completely changed for the better. To come back to the sport has been an absolute blessing.”

Steve Landells for the IAAF