19 August 2013 / 10:10

British Athletics performance director Neil Black insists he is excited about both old and new after the conclusion of the World Athletics Championships – and he’s not getting hung up on another men’s sprint relay failure.

Britain ended with six medals after tumultuous final day in Moscow, meeting the target set out by UK Sport and equalling the number won at the London 2012 Olympics last summer.

Mo Farah moved one step closer to becoming the greatest British athlete of all time with another long-distance double, winning both the 10,000m and 5,000m having done the same at London 2012.

Christine Ohuruogu secured Britain’s other gold medal with a stunning fightback in the 400m while bronze medals were won by Tiffany Porter in the 100m hurdles and the women’s 4x400m and 4x100m relay teams.

The latter only came after France were disqualified for an illegal changeover but the men’s 4x100m relay team were thrown out from bronze medal position themselves for an infringement.

Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz couldn’t build on his performance as he placed eighth in the high jump while London 2012 long jump champion Greg Rutherford went out in qualifying.

Chris O’Hare did make a shock appearance in the 1500m final while Adam Gemili, part of that unsuccessful men’s sprint relay quartet, became the second fastest Brit ever on the way to fifth in the 200m.

And Black, refusing to let yet another men’s 4x100 relay failure get to him, insists Britain are in a great place across the board – from debutants to seasoned world performers

“Although we’re all gutted for the men’s relay guys we can’t allow that disappointment to dampen what the team has achieved,” said Black.

“It’s been a really positive Championships for us and I’m extremely optimistic moving forward. This has been a transition year for us following London 2012.

“But we have still managed to come away with six medals and 18 top-eight finishes, which is an enormous achievement outlining the depth of young talent coming through.

“We have also matched our best ever performance at world level with three golds, so I am pleased that we have delivered those performances.

“We can’t forget that this is a young team and I’m really proud of how they have handled themselves.”

Elsewhere both England’s men and women began their EuroHockey Championship campaign, as did the Scottish women in Belgium, with success mixed for all.

Three-time Olympian Helen Richardson brought up 150 appearances for England over the weekend as they first beat Spain 3-0 before losing 2-1 to Germany to place second in Pool B.

Scotland’s women, in the same pool, fell 1-0 to Germany and 2-1 to Spain while England’s men got up and running with a 5-2 defeat over Poland much to head coach Bobby Crutchley’s pleasure.

“I think the score line probably flattered us. Poland gave us a lot of problems and I was pretty frustrated at times with our performance, but that is often how first games of the tournament go,” said Crutchley.

“I'm glad that we got the win in the end and that we were able to convert more of our chances in the closing stages of the match. Now we look ahead to the Netherlands."

Thoughts of Europe dominated the week with Britain’s men’s basketball team preparing to go on the continent next month and playing a series of warm-up fixtures.

They secured a second win over Puerto Rico 68-63 but then fell to defeats to Finland 88-66 and Greece 95-62 as their preparations for next month’s EuroBasket in Slovenia gather pace.

Britain’s equestrian teams are also getting ready for European Championship action however Laura Tomlinson, nee Bechtolsheimer, won’t travel to Denmark, after injury to her horse Mistral Hojris.

Tomlinson, who won Olympic team gold and individual bronze in the dressage at London 2012, has been replaced by Gareth Hughes as British officials refuse to risk her ride.

William Fox-Pitt, part of Britain’s Olympic silver medal winning eventing team last summer, also sees injury rule out London 2012 ride Lionheart but he will switch to Chilli Morning.

Britain’s canoe slalom team were back in World Cup action in Slovenia with Mallory Franklin winning her second silver medal in the C1 this season and third in total.

The 19-year-old put down two consistent performances to be third fastest in the semi-finals and second best in the final with Australia's Jessica Fox taking gold and Monika Jancova of the Czech Republic bronze.

It continues a fine season for Franklin who won bronze in Cardiff and silver in Augsburg along with gold at the European Under-23 Championships and fourth at the junior worlds.

"Jess seems to have this habit of just managing to beat me, but not by a lot, in every race so it would be nice to put down a run to beat her," said Franklin. 

"But it's good to know that I am performing consistently at that sort of level now, even though it would have been nice to get gold.

"It's been a really good season so far. It's been solid paddling as opposed to startling performances, which is leading me to be in the top few in each race.”

© Sportsbeat 2013