Jodie Williams rediscovers mojo to land first championship medal in seven years

British athletics captain Jodie Williams chased away her demons to win a first championship medal in seven years last night.

The one-time child prodigy had not made an international podium since 2014 and was new to the 400 metres distance.

But on a dramatic night for her team in Poland she produced a lifetime best of 51.73 seconds to take the bronze medal at the European Indoor Championships.

"I came here to do that, to prove to myself that I can get on podiums again,” said Williams, who was unbeaten in five years as a junior before stepping up to the senior ranks and almost breaking under the weight of expectation.

“This sport is such a mental battle and for me these championships were about overcoming mental barriers.

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs in my career but I have learned how to fight again and I’ve proved a lot to myself. For sure, I have my mojo back."

Williams’ performance, out of lane one, more than justified the faith shown by new team boss Christian Malcolm, who handed her the armband in Torun.

"I am a determined woman, I cannot quit on myself,” she added.

Her first individual medal since she took European 200m silver outdoors in Zurich in 2014 was sandwiched between contrasting fortunes for Britain’s two Hollys.

Holly Bradshaw, favourite for gold in the pole vault, produced her lowest clearance of the season and had to settle for a share of bronze.

Holly Archer was then disqualified for ‘jostling and obstruction’ after winning silver in a bruising 1500 metres final.

But in a race described as “carnage” by reigning champion Laura Muir, watching from home, Britain successfully appealed the decision and the emotional Cambridge star was later reinstated, surviving a counter protest.

No such reprieve for Bradshaw who, after clearing only 4.65m, admitted: “I should be coming here and delivering a better performance than that.

“To come here and do my lowest all season, it’s not what you expect. I’ve felt in incredible shape. But pole vault is so frustrating, the margins are tiny.”

There was further dejection for Andrew Robertson, who missed out on a medal in the men’s 60m by 0.02secs after finishing fourth in 6.63secs.

But Jamie Webb qualified fastest for today’s men’s 800m final and has high hopes of adding to team mate Amy-Eloise Markovc’s gold in the women’s 3000m on Friday.

And Britain has three medal hopes in the women’s 800m after Keely Hodgkinson, Isabel Boffey and Ellie Baker all powered into the final.

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