Great Britain captain Kilty used his critics as fuel for comeback

Kilty was voted as GB captain by his team-mates ahead of the World Championships.

By Press Association Published: 26 September 2019 - 1.10pm

Great Britain captain Richard Kilty has thanked the critics for continuing to inspire him.

The 30-year-old has completed an impressive turnaround and was voted as the squad’s skipper for the World Championships.

In February he was initially left out of the GB squad for the European Indoor Championships after Achilles surgery hit his preparation meaning he missed the qualifying time.

He was then given an invite by European Athletics Council as defending 60m champion.

Kilty is now in Doha, ahead of the start of the World Championships on Friday, as part of the 4x100m relay squad – who are looking to defend their title – and the skipper has used the doubters as motivation.

“To the people who try to doubt and try to speak a load of nonsense, thank you. That’s why we’re here right now,” said the 2014 60m World Indoor champion.

“When people tell you you can’t do it weak people can fold but for strong people, it gives us extra motivation.

Great Britain’s Richard Kilty, left, has recovered after Achilles surgery (John Walton/PA)

“People have never had the nerve to say anything to my face but you hear rumours ‘Richard will never make the team’ but I’ve done everything this year.

“When people don’t like you or don’t believe in you they try to throw a spanner in the works but what they don’t realise is we should thank them.

“I know who believes in me and who doesn’t. I get positive feedback on social media and you get the odd negative comment but they don’t matter.

“My team-mates voted for me as captain and that shows what they think of me. Seven months ago was a tough time, I was still recovering from Achilles surgery, but I’m here.”

Kilty delivered his captain’s speech to the squad on Monday, a break from tradition with it usually coming the night before the Championships.

He wanted to ensure the whole team was present given their different schedules and hopes his words help the squad.

“The feedback I got, they say it was incredible,” he smiled. “Not to blow my own trumpet.

“Some people started crying, everyone was laughing at some point and everyone was inspired at the end.

“I told them to take their opportunities, I went into a World Championships as a 66-1 underdog in 2014 without a penny in my pocket, didn’t have a place I called home and the hotel where we stayed was luxury living to me.

“I took that opportunity and became world champion.”