Men's quartet set up Bolt showdown as all British relay teams reach finals
Athletics

Men's quartet set up Bolt showdown as all British relay teams reach finals

12 August 2017 / 12:14

Great Britain’s men’s 4x100m team clocked the second fastest time ever recorded by a British quartet over the distance to set up a Saturday night showdown with Usain Bolt in the Jamaican’s last ever race.

The British four of CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake set a season’s best time of 37.76 seconds to qualify for Saturday night’s World Championship final.

That was just six hundredths of a second slower than the USA’s new world lead time, as Great Britain progressed as second fastest overall, with Bolt’s Jamaica in third.

And in what was Gemili’s first appearance of these championships at the London Stadium, he admits there is still plenty in the British tank ahead of the medal race.

“Its been a tough season, but I’m really lucky and thankful to be part of this team,” said Gemili.

“Hopefully we can go out there in the final and challenge for the medals, that’s why we’re here.”

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Earlier in the morning’s session, Great Britain women’s 4x100m team - Asha Philip, Desiree Henry, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita - eased through to the final, stopping the clock in 41.93 seconds - a new season’s best.

The four - the same line-up who won Team GB’s first 4x100m relay bronze in 32 years in Rio last summer - crossed the line 0.09 seconds behind the USA, with Germany qualifying as third fastest.

Yet while they promise they still have more to give, Philip insists the bumper home crowd made their job that little bit easier.

“We definitely fully embraced the crowd,” she said. “It’s something we have never experienced before because none of us went to London 2012, so it’s breathtaking.

“They are definitely running alongside us, and that’s what we need.”

Henry added: “We have a unique bond, in terms of confidence we’ve got it so its all about the speed.

“It was all about qualifying, so we’ll see how the final goes.”

It was success too for the men’s and women’s 4x400m teams as both progressed to Sunday’s finals.

The women’s quartet, of Zoey Clark, Laviai Nielsen, Perri Shakes-Drayton and Emily Diamond, crossed in a time of 3:24.74 - one second faster than the time that won Team GB bronze in the event last summer.

It was less convincing, however, for the men’s four, who progressed as fastest qualifiers into the final.

Martyn Rooney, running the final leg after early efforts from Rabah Yousif, Dwayne Cowan and Jack Green, finished in an amassed 3:00.10 - again a new season’s best for the four.

Sportsbeat 2017

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