Rio 2016: Olympic relay bronze for Philip
PUBLISHED: 09:01 20 August 2016
PA/Press Association Images
Ellington, Gemili miss out in men’s final
Newham & Essex Beagles sprinter Asha Philip helped Team GB’s women to their first 4x100m relay bronze in 32 years in Rio last night.
In perfect conditions, Philip gave the quartet a strong start and slick baton changes between Desiree Henry, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita saw them come home in a British record of 41.77 seconds behind champions the USA and Jamaica.
It meant a fifth athletics medal at the 2016 Olympics for Team GB and a delighted Philip said: Philip said: “I had seen our team not make London 2012 so we have come a long way to get here and it has been a long journey for us.
“With the support of our coaches and the National Lottery, we have managed to improve. Congratulations to all these girls because they are all amazing.”
The news was not so good for Philip’s clubmate James Ellington and University of East London graduate Adam Gemili as they missed out on a medal in the men’s 4x100m final, finishing fifth.
Richard Kilty led the group off, before Harry Aikines-Aryeetey ran the second leg and Ellington the bend, before Gemili anchored them home in 37.98 as the legendary Usain Bolt led Jamaica to victory and claimed his ninth Olympic gold.
Ellington, 30, said: “We knew we had to push the check marks out there in the final to be in the mix. It’s not an excuse, but it’s the truth that it is more difficult in lane one.
“We genuinely believed that we could go out and win it. If not win it, a medal at worse. We ran as hard as we could and it just wasn’t mean to be. There are loads of other nations out there who would be proud of being in the final and coming fifth. But we know what we can do and we want more than that.
“We know we’re capable of more as well. We’re going to have to go back as a team, rebuild, and then get ready for London [2017 World Championships] next year on our home turf.
“Win or lose, we’ve really bonded as a team this year and every single one of these guys is like family to me. I’m just glad I could share my Olympic experience with them.“
Gemili added: “We are disappointed. We gave it our all out there and we were beaten by teams that were better than us on the day. We believe that on our day we can be challenging for those medals. It just wasn’t to be.
“We’ve really come together as such a strong unit this year and it’s a shame we couldn’t get that medal to show everyone how hard we’ve worked as a team.
“Lanes are lanes. It’s 400m whatever lane it is. I know it’s difficult in lane one but we saw the American girls go out there and nearly break the world record before us, so we weren’t even thinking about lanes. We just wanted to go out there and compete.
“I got back at 1.30am after doping [following the 200m final] and they were all up waiting for me. We’ve really bonded as a squad. We sat down and we talked. We were so confident in our ability and we really believed we could go out and get a medal.
Newham’s Christine Ohuruogu anchored the women’s 4x400m squad to a place in the final as they finished second in their heat behind Jamaica.
Emily Diamond, Anyika Onuora and Kelly Massey combined over the first three legs, before Ohuruogu crossed the line in 3.24.81.
But the men’s quartet of Nigel Levine, Delano Williams, Matt Hudson-Smith and Martyn Rooney was disqualified after winning their heat.