By Marios Papaloizou

Blackheath & Bromley’s Serita Solomon admits she isn’t sure exactly how she managed to clinch bronze at the European indoor championships in Prague.

The 25-year-old went into the competition as the reigning indoor British champion after she clinched the crown in Sheffield last month.

And she made steady progress through the qualifying round at the weekend by securing victory in her heat in 8.03 seconds ahead of Josephine Onyia.

She followed that with another confident run in the semi-finals where she was once again victorious, this time clocking 7.95s to edge out Nooralotta Neziri.

This set up a battle of Britain final with Lucy Hatton but neither of the pair could hold off the charge of Belarusian Aline Talay who took gold, Hatton edging out her teammate to silver by just 0.3 seconds.

But there was no disappointment for Solomon who was delighted to leave her mark at the championships.

“I wasn’t expecting it! I was standing on the start line and they were saying I was the surprise,” she said.

“You never know; you go out there to run your best so it was a surprise to me but a good surprise!

“I don't know what's clicked; I'm thriving and I’m just happy and healthy.

“My coach is probably crying right now. She's my mum so she's probably an emotional wreck.

“It's definitely great for British girls hurdling.

“We're pushing each other which will be good on the world stage and next stop worlds.”

With the outdoor season fast approaching and the world championships in Beijing on the horizon this summer, there will be plenty more battles between Solomon and Hatton in the coming months.

But Hatton insists the competition can only be a good thing for British athletics and says the form of Solomon has helped to push her onto another level.

“We have a good relationship and it’s a positive one and definitely hasn’t turned negative which I think is important when you are competing in the same event,” said Hatton.

“That can happen a lot but we are there for each other, to push each other and we constantly say thank you to one another because if she wasn’t there on my tail I might not be thinking that I need to fight for this place.

“I think it’s the same situation for Serita and that’s fantastic because we can push each other on.”

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