Athletics: Jamie Bowie on song with relay silver

Jamie Bowie hands the baton to Luke LennonFord as Britain claimed silver in Poland. Picture: AFP/GettyJamie Bowie hands the baton to Luke LennonFord as Britain claimed silver in Poland. Picture: AFP/Getty
Jamie Bowie hands the baton to Luke LennonFord as Britain claimed silver in Poland. Picture: AFP/Getty
Scotland’s Jamie Bowie continued his impressive progress, playing his part at the World Indoor Championships in Poland where Britain’s men’s 4x400m relay team claimed silver – only a world indoor record from the United States being enough to see off Conrad Williams, Bowie, Luke Lennon-Ford and Nigel Levine.

There was disappointment for Britain’s women, however, who were unable to defend their title in the 4x400m relay with the quartet of Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Margaret Adeoye and world champion Christine Ohuruogu taking bronze behind the United States and Jamaica.

Team captain Child put in a good first leg after one false start and a number of faulty ones, handing over to Cox in second place. Cox maintained that position but Adeoye was overhauled by Jamaica on the third leg and Ohuruogu had to be more concerned with holding off Russia than catching the leaders.

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The star performer for Britain was Katarina Johnson-Thompson as the team ended the Championships with a total of six medals. Johnson-Thompson was prevented from qualifying for the pentathlon in Sopot due to illness and was overlooked for a wild card, but produced a personal best of 6.81m to take long jump silver.

The 21-year-old from Liverpool led the competition from the second round until France’s Eloyse Lesueur jumped 6.85m in the fourth, with Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic taking bronze with 6.77m and Britain’s Shara Proctor fourth with 6.68m.

Johnson-Thompson has long been tipped as a potential successor to Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, but after also winning the world junior long jump title in Barcelona in 2012, she was quick to stress: “I just want to make sure everyone knows I’m a heptathlete and I will be going back to the heptathlon. I can’t believe it. I came here with no expectations and thought if everyone had a bad day I might be in with a chance of a medal. It was unbelievable when I was winning at one point. I’m happy with the silver and it does make up for missing the pentathlon.”

Johnson-Thompson was overlooked for a wild card by the IAAF, who awarded it to Poland’s Karolina Tyminska instead. She finished last in the event. “It was hard for me to watch it on Friday, I got very down about it because that’s my event and it’s so open this year and really close,” Johnson-Thompson added. “I think I could have got among the medals but you can’t say because everyone thinks before that they can do this, this and this and it doesn’t always go to plan so you just don’t know.”

There was disappointment in the pole vault as medal prospect Holly Bleasdale could only finish ninth after failing to clear 4.65m.

Bleasdale failed twice at her opening height of 4.45m, but the reigning European indoor champion cleared it at the final attempt and then 4.55m at the first. The 22-year-old missed the World Championships in Moscow last year due to injury but had performed well this season, achieving three clearances of 4.71m or higher.

“I’m really really gutted,” she said. “I felt great coming in and had the most amazing warm-up but it was just not my day. I need to look back with my coach and see what happened.

“I’m really frustrated and really upset. I felt like I had been on a long road back from my injury to come here and perform and it’s not gone well. But I’ll learn from it and improve. We all have setbacks and this is a big one for me but the Commonwealths and Europeans are coming up outdoors – they’re really big Games for me and I really want to get things right and do well there.”

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Andrew Osagie claimed a second successive bronze in the 800 metres despite crossing the line in fourth place, with Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski subsequently disqualified.

Asha Philip was unable to add to the medal tally in the 60m final, the former world youth champion finishing fourth in 7.11s as Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took gold ahead of Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast. Tianna Bartoletta of the United States claimed bronze.

And Andy Pozzi was also fourth in the 60m hurdles in another new personal best of 7.53s, with team-mate William Sharman in seventh. Andy Vernon was 11th in the 3,000m final.