Britain's sprinters clock 12 year best at Anniversary Games

27 July 2013 / 13:06

Twelve months ago Britain's women's sprinters watched the Olympics with their noses pressed against the window - failing to qualify a sprint relay squad after one high-profile fumble too many.

But at the Olympic Stadium last night - albeit one year too late - they produced a storming run to win an invitational 4x100m at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games in the quickest time by a British quartet in 12 years.

In-form Anyika Onuora joined forces with Dina Asher-Smith, Annabelle Lewis and Ashleigh Nelson as  they clocked 42.68 seconds to beat an All Star and French team into a distant second and third - earning one of the biggest cheers of the night from the 65,000 crowd.

And no-one was more shocked than them.

"That was really special, everyone just nailed it and I can't believe we've run that time," said Onuora.

"Last year we didn't even have a team and now we've run a ridiculous time and we're in serious shape for the Worlds now.

"What happened last year was disappointing but we've got to look forward. We're a really tight knit team and everyone is running really fast.

"We've got time in training camp now to work on things before Moscow - which is really exciting."

Perri Shakes Drayton was another billed at seeking redemption at the Olympic Stadium.

One of last year's poster girls - she's just a couple of stops on the Docklands Light Railway from home to track - she failed to make the 400m hurdles final at London 2012.

She was no match for Olympic bronze medallist and world leader Zuzana Hejnova yesterday but took second place in a personal best 53.67 sec, carving a tenth of a second off her previous mark.

"I’ve forgotten the Olympics, I’m a lot happier to compete here since then," she said.

"I got a PB so I’m happy and now I want to make the final in Moscow and I’ll be wanting to bring home some silverware for sure."

Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz has admitted he is struggling to shake off his London 2012 hangover this season and was again below par. 

The European champion tied for fourth in a high-quality high jump, clearing 2.24 metres as world leader Bohdan Bondarenko won with a 2.38m clearance.

Eilish McColgan running over a flat 3000m as opposed to her signature steeplechase produced a personal best 8:55.66 over the infrequently run distance to finish as top Brit - giving hope she has recovered from a recent stressed shin injury.

James Dasaolu withdrew from his much-anticipated clash with Usain Bolt over 100m with a hip flexor injury, just one day after insisting he had no fitness problems.

And the new national champion, who ran the second fastest time by a British athlete when he clocked 9.91 seconds in Birmingham earlier this month, dropped one place on the world rankings after Bolt flashed across the line in 9.85 secs - making him the fastest man in the world this year not under doping suspicion.

Adam Gemili, selected for the 200m at the World Championship, clocked the same 10.16 sec time as Harry Aikines-Aryeetey in an all-British 100m but was awarded the victory on a photo finish.

Richard Kilty might still be smarting from the decision to select rising star Delano Williams for the World Championships ahead of him - but he preferred to prove his point in actions not words.

Kilty - who will travel to Moscow as part of the 4x100m relay team - beat the world junior champion at the team trials and was first Brit home in the 200m last night, besting two athletes selected ahead of him, James Ellington and Williams.

"I've been coming through strong in the last few races and I wanted to be the best of the Brits here, which I was," he said.

"I have had a hamstring problem the last week and I was about to pull out in the warm-up but I am glad I didn’t and I did myself justice.

"It is difficult against those guys who are the best in the world but it shows how much work I have got to do over the winter.

"I am satisfied being on the world team but a little unhappy about not running in the 200m. I don’t know why I wasn’t selected, that is something for the selectors."

Elsewhere, new national champion Sally Peake admitted she was disappointed with her 4.00m best height - 25cm down on her season's best - as she finished ninth in the pole vault.

But Brett Morse produced the fifth best throw of his career to finish sixth in the men's discus, unleashing 64.84m to finish ahead of two-time Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna, and Yamile Aldama ranked seventh from eighth in the women's triple jump.

© Sportsbeat 2013