London 2017: British men win gold, women strike silver
PUBLISHED: 22:47 12 August 2017 | UPDATED: 22:47 12 August 2017
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Sprint relay squads produce stunning results
Great Britain’s 4x100m relay teams produced gold and silver linings to the World Championships at an electric London Stadium.
Newham & Essex Beagles Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake held off American rival Christian Coleman to cross the line in a British record of 37.47 seconds, the third-fastest time ever, after CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili and Danny Talbot had combined to give him the baton with a lead going into the final straight.
And the men’s success came after the women, led off by Newham’s Asha Philip, had won silver behind their Amnerican rivals only minutes earlier.
The women had won bronze at the Rio Olympics last summer and Philip produced a strong first leg, before a far-from-smooth handover to Desiree Henry, who then passed the baton to 200m finalist Dina Asher-Smith.
And after a strong bend from Asha-Smith and despite another nervy exchange, Daryll Neita chased 100m champion Tori Bowie down the home straight until conceding defeat in the final strides as Britain finished second in 42.12 seconds, three-tenths of a second behind the Americans.
All eyes then turned to the men, as the legendary Usain Bolt prepared to make the final appearance of his career on the track, and Ujah blasted away from the blocks to give the British quartet an excellent start.
Former University of East London student Gemili roared down the back straight, following his disappointment at being left out of the 200 metres, and Talbot produced a fine bend on the third leg.
Newham-born Mitchell-Blake, who spent some of his childhood growing up in Bolt’s native Jamaica, then put his foot down, having finished fourth in the 200m final, and dipped for the line to beat 100m silver medalist Colman for an historic British success.
Bolt, sadly, pulled up with a hamstring injury which handed an unexpected bronze medal to Japan and proved a painful conclusion to one of the greatest athletics careers of all time.