STOCKTON sprinter Richard Kilty has recorded by far the biggest success of his career as he claimed the 60m title at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Poland.
Kilty, who is a member of Gateshead Harriers, ran a lifetime best of 6.49secs to claim the world title by two hundredths of a second from American Marvin Bracy.
The 24-year-old was not even supposed to be going to the World Championships in Sopot as he was initially in the reserve slot after last month's trials.
However, an injury to James Dasaolu saw him named in the British squad alongside Dwain Chambers, and he produced three of the best runs of his life to claim gold.
Having set a new personal best of 6.52secs to finish second in his semi-final, the Teessider shaved another three hundredths off his lifetime best time in the final to be crowned world champion.
The triumph completes a remarkable turnaround for Kilty, who thought about quitting athletics after he was controversially omitted from the British squad for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Dropped from the lottery funding programme, he was forced to train under the watchful eye of his father on the banks of the Tees Barrage 12 months ago, combining work-outs in a Stockton gym with track sessions at Gateshead International Stadium.
However, he finished second in the 200m at the British Championships and made it into the 4x100m squad for last year's outdoor World Championships.
In October, his funding was restored, and a winter training camp in South Africa has clearly paid dividends.
Tonight's victory will completely transform his career, and sets him up perfectly for the start of the outdoor season.
Having previously stated his burning ambition to break the ten-second barrier this summer, Kilty will be a medal contender at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships if he chooses to compete in both events.