POOLE AC star Melissa Courtney-Bryant struck gold at the British Indoor Athletics Championship and immediately set her sights on sealing a place at the Olympic Games.

Courtney-Bryant claimed the spoils in the women’s 3,000m in Glasgow on Saturday in a time of 9:48.54.

The Poole-born athlete sealed top-spot, having finished second behind winner Laura Muir in 2019.

And having finally broken her duck at the event, the 26-year-old is ready to kick on and earn a place at Tokyo 2020.

Courtney-Bryant told British Athletics: “It’s the first British senior title I’ve won.

“I had competed at this Championship eight times and never had a gold. I had silver and bronze so it’s really special to be a British champion.

“With the Olympics down the road it’s just a stepping stone.

“I had injury and illness problems but this summer is just all about coming back from that and showing I belong to be in that British team at the Olympics

“It’s the focus for the entire year.

“I’ve got the standard already for the 5k but it’s about proving fitness, going into trials and getting in that top two. That’s probably the hardest bit.

“The fun thing is just to be winning races and enjoying it. That’s what I’m doing at the moment.”

With 400m remaining in Glasgow, Courtney-Bryant hit the front and eased away from the field to take gold comfortably ahead of fellow Dorset star Verity Ockenden in second.

Courtney-Bryant added: “I have felt really strong all winter, training has gone really well.

“I raced a couple of weeks ago in Germany and I finished really strong in the last 200m, which surprised me that I actually had that kind of pace.

“I was confident coming into here.

“I wanted to see how what shape I was in in the winter, how training’s gone and then it’s all about making that Olympic team and making sure I’m in the best possible shape come June and July.”

Elsewhere at the event, Piers Copeland claimed bronze in the men’s 800m (1:47.21) his second personal best in successive visits to Glasgow.

The rising Wimborne AC star was beaten only by two seasoned Team GB internationals Guy Learmonth (1:46.89) and 2012 Olympian Andrew Osagie (1:46.98).

Bournemouth AC duo Rob Woolgar (60m hurdles, 8.58secs) and Bradley Pickup (long jump, 7.20m) were also competing.