aura Muir has come agonisingly close to the medals at major championships and finally broke that hoodoo with Olympic 1500metre silver in Tokyo.
Defending champion Faith Kipyegon proved a class apart as she kicked to the line but Muir surged past Sifan Hassan, the Dutch athlete attempting an unprecedented trebled in the 1500metres, 5000m and 10000m.
Muir has revelled in the major global championships indoors but struggled to translate that to medal-winning form outdoors. But as Hassan turned on the pace early in the race and Kipyegon launched forward, Muir went with them both.
As they came into the home straight, the Kenyan surged into the lead and the Scot scythed past Hassan, showing signs of fatigue in her legs for her races already run in Tokyo, to take a deserved silver medal with a British record of 3:54.50.
It proved a strong night for the British athletics team as the men’s sprint relay squad won silver and the 4x100m women, with Dina Asher-Smith, back to her best with the bronze.
Afterwards, Muir said: “I don’t know what to say, I’m overwhelmed. I’ve worked so hard for so long. I’ve been fourth, fifth twice, sixth and seventh. With everything postponed last year, not knowing whether this would even go ahead, I’ve got silver and a British record.
“Me and my coach have sacrificed the last 10 years for that four minutes right there. It felt like 3:54, that last 100m was hurting so much. I was tying up so bad, I just kept pushing. Now I’ve got the silver and the British record. I don’t think I’ve every been so scared that someone would pass me and I’d finish fourth.”
It was just reward for Muir, who got training partner Jemma Reekie to move in with her during lockdown so they could work together in training. And she was quick to pay tribute to her training partner in the wake of her Olympic silver.
Britain’s sprint relay men had the scope to go for gold as Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake began the anchor leg in a surprise lead as favourites Jamaica struggled but the Italian four pipped Britain by a hundreth of a second with another shock gold of these Games.
Mitchell-Blake, who cut a disconsolate figure after being pipped on that last leg, said: “We truly believe we’re the best quartet in the world and we want to show that when it comes.”
Earlier, the British sprint women took the bronze behind winners Jamaica and silver medallists the USA courtesy of Asha Phillip, Imani Lansiquot, Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita.
Afterwards, Phillip said: “We’ve really worked hard as a team. We’ve got such a great team. We got a medal and that’s what counts.”