Performance director Neil Black has defended British Athletics’ selection policy after being forced to pick just one male sprinter for the European Indoor Championships.

In a 48-strong team, Ojie Edoburun is the only man who will contest the 60 metres at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow next month, where Scotland’s Laura Muir will seek a second golden double on home soil.

Reece Prescod was the only man to achieve the qualifying standard of 6.60 seconds but has opted against competing, while Edoburun was eligible for selection by virtue of his 100m times last summer.

Great Britain’s Richard Kilty during the Men’s 60 Metres race during the Muller Indoor Grand Prix at Arena Birmingham
Great Britain’s Richard Kilty in action (David Davies/PA)

Double European indoor champion Richard Kilty ran 6.64secs in Birmingham on Saturday and questioned why British Athletics had set such a difficult qualifying time in comparison to the mark of 6.78s set by European Athletics.

Black insisted it was not embarrassing to field just one male sprinter in a home event, adding: “We had a very clear policy which said the qualification mark is 6.60. That’s been the men’s mark since the European Indoors in 2013.

“It’s a standard that many people historically achieved. It’s never been questioned in the past and we’ve all been comfortable with it. This year, for a combination of reasons, athletes hadn’t met that standard.

“I don’t think it means there’s a problem, or athletes are running badly, or the standard is wrong. It just means athletes didn’t meet the standard.”

Asked about Kilty’s comments, Black added: “I understand anyone’s frustration when they feel they can perform but they’re not selected. What we have to do is follow a selection policy. If you don’t, it opens you up to all sorts of things, including an appeals process.”

Black believes Muir will thrive on the pressure of retaining her 1,500m and 3,000m titles in front of a home crowd and the 25-year-old enjoyed the perfect preparation by smashing Kirsty Wade’s 31-year-old indoor mile record by five seconds in Birmingham on Saturday.

Asha Philip (60m) and Andrew Pozzi (60m hurdles) will also defend their titles, although Pozzi’s selection is subject to him proving his fitness ahead of the championships.

A record group of nine Scottish athletes includes the nation’s most decorated track and field athlete Eilidh Doyle and European indoor 1500m bronze medallist Chris O’Hare, who is making the step up to 3,000m.

“With the IAAF World Championships and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games drawing ever closer, Glasgow is a great opportunity for our athletes to defend titles, win medals and show their quality on a major international stage,” Black said.

“Once again, we have demonstrated that athletics is a truly equal sport by selecting more women than men, with four of those 26 having won European indoor gold while there are a further four who have won medals previously at the event.

“It is fantastic to have our biggest ever contingent of Scottish athletes for a major championships in their backyard and we look forward to watching every single member of the team thrive in front of a home crowd.

“Glasgow is the last major championships before the IAAF World Championships in Doha later in the year and we expect to be extremely competitive.”