BEN Claridge was only half a second away from 800m bronze at the UK Indoor Championships.

The Abingdon AC runner finished fourth in Birmingham, stopping the clock at 1min 49.69secs – just behind Ben Greenwood in third.

International athletes Elliot Giles and Guy Learmonth took the top two positions on the podium, leaving Claridge pleased with his display.

He said: “I was happy with that, it was a really messy race.

“I wanted to do more but finished up at the back.

“It was good enough for fourth and I am happy with that in my second year back at 800.”

Claridge is set to fly to Florida for a month of warm-weather training before the outdoor season in the UK.

Meanwhile, Nathan Douglas was upbeat after finishing eighth in the triple jump.

The Oxford City AC star was competing in the city he lives, days after announcing he will retire at the end of 2022.

Douglas only managed one successful jump of 15.07m, with his other five attempts fouls, and admitted it was a mix of emotions.

The 39-year-old said: “It’s hard not to feel a bit emotional, knowing this is my last British indoor championship – and in Birmingham where I live.

“I have so many great memories of competing here.

“I was trying to bat that away but at the same time use the energy from it.

“I didn’t jump as well as I know I can but I enjoyed myself.

“This year I want to enjoy every competition because this is me saying goodbye to the sport I have loved since I was seven years old.”

It was a better weekend for fellow Oxford City athlete Alice Hopkins, who achieved an indoor personal best of 6.14m to finish sixth in the long jump.

Hopkins said: “It was OK but I wanted more.

“I have changed coaches to Laura Turner and Frank Attoh and I am still getting used to them.

“Now it’s back to the grind of outdoor training.”

Banbury’s Emily Thompson came fifth in the 1,500m with a personal best of 4.19.81.