Today sees the start of the battle of Europe as the continent’s top athletes battle it out to become the best in Europe. The European Athletics Indoor Championships, entering its 35thyear of competition, is being held at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
Giles, 24, who represented Team England at last year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast claimed outdoor European 800m bronze in 2016 and is now looking to take on a new challenge and attempt the 1500m at this year’s indoor competition.
Giles competed in his first ever 1500m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham last month, where Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera broke the world record. Giles, however, didn’t seem fazed by this: “I just ran my own race. I didn’t even try and be competitive in any way, purely because I knew I had to respect the distance with it being my first race at this pace.”
He’s definitely no stranger to competing, but he’s taking on a new distance for the first time at the European Indoor Championships which means stepping into the unknown. “I’ve almost got a naïve point of view about this one, I haven’t competed in the 1500m at the champs, it’s almost like going for the first time again, it takes the pressure off.”
This year’s World championships take place in September, resulting in an unusually long season but Birmingham-born Giles doesn’t think this will affect his performance, commenting: “I remember last year when we had the World Indoors, Commonwealth Games and then the Europeans, it was all in a very short period of time, that was really difficult, whereas this year we can reboot and be ready with all guns blazing.”
Giles has been plagued by injuries and niggles over recent years championships, but he’ll be hoping to leave those woes behind him for 2019. “The last few Champs I’ve had a few issues but some of it has been bad tactics so no real excuses. I’m training hard now, so we will see, talking is futile to some extent, I can only show it and not say it. I’ll probably have no respect from the other runners which kind of puts things in my favour because they won’t expect me to feature.”
The Brummie runner is definitely looking to step up his game this year and could be a fierce underdog at this weekend’s European Athletics Indoor Championships.
The European Athletics Indoor Championships will be held at the Emirates Arena from 1st-3rdMarch 2019 and will see over 600 athletes from 50 nations take to the tracks.