MARC SCOTT is hoping his third place at the World Indoor Athletics Championships will mark the start of a medal-laden year.

The Northallerton distance runner claimed his first major medal as he won bronze in the 3,000m in Belgrade this morning, with his powerful finishing kick enabling him to burst past a number of rivals on the final lap to finish behind an Ethiopian one-two comprised of Selemon Barega and Lamech Gima.

The third-place finish, which secured Britain’s first medal of the World Indoors, was a major breakthrough moment for Scott, who also made giant strides last season as he competed at his first Olympics in Tokyo and won the elite men’s race at the Great North Run.

The Richmond and Zetland Harrier, who has been based in the United States since leaving North Yorkshire on a sports scholarship almost a decade ago, is now firmly established as part of the world distance-running elite, and is already targeting more success in this summer’s outdoor season, which will feature a World and European Championships as well as a home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“Self-belief is one of those things that propels you through the sport,” said Scott. “Especially, coming off the year I’ve had so far in 2022, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t have self-belief.

“I’ve definitely proven today that I deserve to be up there on the global stage. I’ve just got to look ahead now, with three big championships coming up. I’ll be trying to get some more medals for the British fans. Now that we’ve got one, let’s fill the trophy case a little more.”

Today’s final proved a combative affair, with repeated changes in pace meaning the field repeatedly stretched out before coming back together when the speed was slowed.

Scott’s shins were bleeding as he conducted his post-race interview, proof of more than one collision as part of the packed field, but he is happy he will have a few battle scars to remind him of his maiden major championship success.

“I can feel it (the cut) now, but I didn’t realise during the race,” said the 28-year-old, whose parents were both at the arena in Belgrade watching him win bronze. “It’s just one of those things. It was a very choppy race, and that’s what happens.

“If you see most distance runners, they’ve got a lot of scars on their shins, and that’s exactly what that will be in a couple of months. It is what it is. It’s part of the race, although I might feel it in the shower later.”

Scott’s medal helped boost the morale of a young British team that had struggled to make a mark on the championships prior to the 3,000m bronze.

“I wanted to do something for the British team,” said Scott. “People at home might think we’ve not performed as well as we should, but we’ve got a young squad out here.

“I wanted to set my stall out and get a medal, and show everybody that we can do it. I’m delighted with that."