Team GB’s quartet of Asha Philip, Desirèe Henry, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita stormed to an Olympic bronze medal with a superb performance in the women’s 4x100m relay final. In perfect conditions at the Estádio Olímpico, Team GB’s sprinters got off to a fast start and displayed slick baton changes throughout.
It was left to Neita on the final leg to power the team across the line in a British record of 41.77 seconds to secure Team GB a podium spot alongside gold medallists USA, who ran 41.01 for the second quickest time ever, and silver medallists Jamaica.
The third place finish gave Team GB their first medal in the event since the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games. "This means an awful lot because not only have we worked hard to get faster as individuals, we have bonded and worked hard as a team,” said Asher-Smith.
“To be able to come out here when the pressure is on and it really matters and to deliver the goods is absolutely incredible so I am so proud of these girls." Desirèe Henry was equally delighted.
“We have trust and faith in each other and we are so close,” she said.
“We get on so well and I am so happy for all these girls. “After lighting the flame at London 2012, Rio was the target for me and this is the fairy-tale ending.”
There wasn’t such good news for the men’s 4x100m relay team as Richard Kilty, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Ellington and Adam Gemili finished fifth in the final a time of 37.98.
The quartet were well placed but a poor change over between Ellington and Gemili cost Team GB.
The final was won by the Jamaicans in a historic race that saw sprint king Usain Bolt anchor his team to victory and claim the ‘treble-treble’ with win in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the last three Olympics for nine gold medals.
In the women’s pole vault final, Team GB’s Holly Bradshaw finished in fifth place and was pleased with the result.
“To finish fifth is amazing and I am so happy with that. I just need a year where I don’t have an injury,” she said.
“I have had another injury this year which has set me back but I am happy with what I achieved.”
In the women’s 5,000m final, Eilish McColgan put in a gutsy performance to finish in 13th place in a world class field.
Elsewhere the women’s 4x400m team qualified easily for their final but there was disappointment for the men.
In the women’s race, Emily Diamond, Anyika Onuora, Kelly Massey and Christine Ohuruogu secured their spot in the final as the latter comfortably anchored the team home in second place behind Jamaica.
In the men’s race, the quartet of Nigel Levine, Delano Williams, Matt Hudson-Smith and Martyn Rooney were initially declared winners of their heat thanks to an impressive performance from the latter on the final leg but confusion quickly took hold as they were disqualified minutes later.
It was later revealed the reason for the disqualification came because Rooney stepped outside of his zone in their winning run in what appeared a harsh ruling from the judges.