GB 4x100m women take world bronze on final day

18 August 2013 / 18:53

The British 4x100m women’s relay team were dramatically awarded bronze in a late twist on the final night in Moscow, taking the British team’s medal count to six at these World Athletics Championships in the process.

Long after the medal ceremony, even the closing ceremony, had finished, the IAAF announced that the French team who had originally taken silver had performed an illegal changeover.

That bumped the USA team up to silver and the British quartet of Dina Asher-Smith, Ashleigh Nelson, Annabelle Lewis and Hayley Jones into bronze.

Jones had earlier crossed the line in fourth in a time of 42.87 seconds and the squad had expressed their excitement about the future of British female sprinting.

After a tough couple of years that saw the team taken off funding and fail to qualify for London 2012 this bronze is a shot in the arm for the squad and Jones, who only found out the news back at the hotel, was jumping for joy .

“I can’t even think what to say, I’m shaking right now. We were all screaming in the corridor when we found out,” she said.

“It was so disappointing to finish fourth, it really is the worst place so this is great. I heard that there was a few things that were a bit dodgy but with it taking so long to come through I thought the appeal had been rejected."

And Lewis was similarly thrilled as the hard work the team have had to put in was finally starting to pay off.

“I can’t believe it. We’ve worked so hard for this. I never thought I’d be so gutted with a fourth place in the world coming into it but to get a bronze is amazing – I can’t believe it," Lewis said.

“It’s really exciting. It’s a strange feeling because obviously it would have been great to find out on the track and run around crazy with flags and stuff. It’s a great feeling, I feel really strange.”

However, it was yet another story of heartbreak for the men’s 4x100m relay however after a late disqualification stripped them off bronze.

The quartet of Adam Gemili, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Ellington and Dwain Chambers had looked impressive in streaking to third, the 35-year-old Chambers particularly strong on the anchor leg.

But a subsequent disqualification after the changeover between Ellington and Aikines-Aryeetey was completed outside the changeover zone cut short their celebrations.

And the Canadian squad were promoted up to third while USA took silver and a Usain Bolt inspired Jamaica were first.

Leaving Chambers to reflect on what might have been.

“It’s emotional, to be able to cross the line in third place and secure yourself a medal is great and we were all looking forward to getting on the podium,” said Chambers, who has seen the British 4x100m relay squad fail to record a time at six of the last seven major championship finals.

“But this is sport and it’s just unfortunate that we were not able to be out there in the stadium experiencing what those guys on the podium are.

“All we can do now is get back home, build up our team spirits and move on to next year. 

“Just because we did not succeed the way we wanted does not mean you stop, you get back up again so that’s what you have to do and what we will do.”

Elsewhere on the final day of competition in Russia it was a bridge too far for Chris O’Hare in the 1500m final as he ended up 12th in a time of 3:46.04 minutes.

But there were plenty of positives for the youngster to take from his maiden world champs after he upset some bigger named athletes in just making it through his heat, let alone all the way to the final.

“To learn from these races you have to have a disappointment and all the guys who were up there have had their experience,” said the 22-year-old. 

“They have been hammered and come back from it and it is a British trait that you pick yourself up and fight back to where you want to be so that is what I will do.

“This will push me to work harder. There is no worse place to have a bad race.”

(c) Sportsbeat 2013