Plymouth's David King is Britain's record-breaking new hurdling number one
PLYMOUTH hurdling sensation David King claimed a track treble in winning the national under-20 60m hurdles title at the English Indoor Championships.
In addition to becoming British number one in his age group, King has become the UK's fourth-fastest of all time at the distance.
City of Plymouth's King also broke his personal best times twice at the Birmingham finals and has established himself as one of the best young track prospects in the country.
King set a new mark of 7.75 seconds in the final after a PB of 7.76 seconds in the heats at Birmingham's NIA.
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In a competitive final, he beat Glasgow's John McCall (7.88 seconds) into second place and Euan Dickson-Earle (7.87) into third in a race where the top five either bagged a new PB or season's best time.
King had tipped himself to do well at the indoor blink-and-you-miss it event, after working hard with his coach at Bath, James Hillier, on getting off to a flying start.
The former Devonport High School for Boys student said: "My start had been bothering me and James for sometime as I knew if I got it right, I'd set a fast time.
"So, although it's amazing to be British number one hurdler at under-17, it's something that I'd been threatening to do.
"The personal bests prove how hard I've worked at Bath and it has paid off.
"I'm now the fourth-fastest Briton ever over that distance, which is something to be proud of, I believe."
The 18-year-old University of Bath undergraduate was on hand to encourage multi-eventer and fellow Plymouth AC team-mate Jade Simson to finish a 'fantastic fourth' in the championships.
Simson finished just outside the medals in the under-17 60m hurdles – her first appearance at a major indoor event – and also set two new PBs.
Simson, whose previous best at the event was 9.12 seconds, set new marks of 8.90 in the semis and 8.97 in the heats.
The 15-year-old, who works with Steve Endacott at Brickfields, is according to both King and her coach a really good prospect.
King said: "Jade had a great couple of races and has made huge strides over the past year. She will be a real force in hurdling I'm absolutely certain if she maintains this progress."
Plymstock School's Simson admitted to being overwhelmed by her success.
"To be honest, I didn't know how I'd do and thought if I made the semis, I'd have done really well," said Simson.
"But coming fourth in my first real time at a major indoors, well, I'm quite shocked, but really pleased."
Endacott was proud and modest in equal measure of his charges' achievements.
"I'm delighted for Dave to become British number one and fourth-best ever in the UK is some achievement by any standard," said Endacott.
"Dave was a good athlete to coach at Plymouth and now he's moved away and on to new heights in his career.
"I'm certain that Jade will also be a top athlete, she's already a very talented multi-eventer as well as a terrific hurdler.
"Hopefully, what Dave is achieving will help inspire her to keep at it, as she's a talented athlete in her own right."