Berwick's Guy Learmonth captains Britain to second at European Indoor Athletics Championships

Guy Learmonth, of Berwick, was captain of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team competing at the European Indoor Athletics Championships over the weekend.

By Jonny Clark
Monday, 4th March 2019, 12:10 pm
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 12:17 pm
Guy Learmonth sits on the track after falling during the men's 800m semi-final event.  (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)
Guy Learmonth sits on the track after falling during the men's 800m semi-final event. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

Learmonth, an 800 metre runner, captained the team of 49 athletes at the event, which took place on home soil in Glasgow.

Great Britain finished second in the medal table, with the most medals in total (12). Poland had the most gold medals (five to GB's four), meaning they finished top of the standings.

Unfortunately, Learmonth didn't get himself in the medals - but captaining his country on Scottish soil is something that left the 26-year-old speechless.

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Guy Learmonth (left) comes through in second in his heats behind Kessler of Germany. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

He wrote on social media before the event: "It is an absolute honour to captain this 49 strong Britain Athletics team on home soil. I am rarely speechless but this one caught me by surprise. To those in this amazing team who voted for me, thank you. I am truly humbled. Great Britain, we will all give it everything."

Learmonth went into the event with a broken hand, having fallen at an event in Birmingham two weeks prior.

He comfortably progressed through the heats, finishing second place - but noted that he was being careful to avoid disqualification.

"I think I could have won that race pretty comfortably but I didn’t want to knock the Polish boy.

"There’s been a lot of people DQ’d at indoor championships so I just had to be very, very careful and kicked home the last 50 metres and make sure I was in that qualifying position," he said after the race.

The captain wasn't quite as careful in the semi-final, however, where he was disqualified.

Learmonth was back of the pack at the start of the last lap and nipped past fifth place, but appeared to be clipped and hit the turf - signalling an end to his participation.

Speaking post-race, he said: "It’s all a bit of a blur to me, I need to watch it and see exactly what happened.

"I saw the gap, I believe I got through but I think I got nudged either from behind or inside from me and went down. I don’t think it was an illegal move but I need to see it again."

The two times British champion later added that he was "heartbroken" on social media.