Mo Farah was the toast of Britain on the penultimate day of action at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing but it was also a record-breaking night for the women’s 4x100m squad.
With the British team in buoyant mood following Farah’s second gold of the meeting in the 5000m – a victory that completed an unprecedented triple double of major titles – it was the turn of the relay teams to take centre stage.
Both the men’s and women’s 4x100m squads had qualified comfortably through to the finals earlier in the day, setting season’s best in the process.
First up was the women’s team of Asha Philip, Jodie Williams, Desiree Henry and Dina Asher-Smith – the former switching in for Bianca Williams who ran in the heat.
They were unable to trouble the medals finishing fifth with Jamaica taking gold, although it was still a successful relay as they lowered the previous British record of 42.21 to 42.10 seconds.
“It’s bittersweet – national record but fourth place, we were definitely coming for a medal,” Williams, who ran the third leg, told British Athletics.
“Everything went as planned, the changeovers were smooth and we really, really pushed the boundaries so I don’t think we could have done much better.”
There was not such good news for the men’s quartet however as a missed final change over between James Ellington and Chijindu Ujah – who replaced Harry Aikines-Aryeetey for the final – saw their medal hopes dashed.
They had been all set up to challenge for a podium finish going into the home straight but instead had to look on painfully as Usain Bolt and Jamaica took gold, with China and Canada taking silver and bronze respectively after the USA were later disqualified.
“It’s not just me – we’ve all done our bit, we’ve all come here to be the best in the world and we haven’t done it and it’s not good enough,” said Danny Talbot.
“We are easily in the top three nations in the world but we’re just not doing it. We win as a team, we lose as a team.
“It’s not just the four on the track. It’s also Harry (Aikines-Aryeetey) who ran this morning, Adam (Gemili) who came out here, hasn’t run, but put himself on the line because he wants to be part of the team, we’ve got Ojie (Edoburun). We’ve all got to come together and we’ll come back.”
Elsewhere at the Bird’s Nest, 800m runner Shelayna Oskan-Clarke continued her impressive Championships as she finished fifth in her first major global final.
The 25-year-old went sub 1:59 again as she crossed in 1:58.99, with Marina Arzamasova of Belarus taking the title.
“I’m happy that I came here and managed to get to the final and show everyone that I can compete with everyone, and with the best of the world,” she said.
“I really just wanted to hold on down the home straight, but I’m happy and it’s been a great experience.”
© Sportsbeat 2015