Athletics: Relay rollercoaster for Britain

Dwain Chambers stands dejected after the initial result was revised, meaning a DQ for Team GB. Picture: PA
Dwain Chambers stands dejected after the initial result was revised, meaning a DQ for Team GB. Picture: PA
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Great Britain’s baton blunders returned to haunt them again at the World Championships in Moscow last night as the men’s 4x100 metres relay team lost their bronze medal after being disqualified.

Dwain Chambers came flying down the home straight to bring the team home in third place, but after doing a lap of honour they were given the bad news. The second changeover from Harry Aikines-Aryeetey to James Ellington took place out of the designated box, meaning the result was always likely to be reversed.

However, there was better news a couple hours later when it emerged that Britain’s women, who had been run out of the medals and finished fourth, were upgraded to a bronze medal when second-placed France were disqualified. Jamaica won the gold.

UK Athletics confirmed the men’s disqualification and, as a result, Canada were promoted to bronze.

It was the latest in a long line of relay failures for Britain’s sprinters – the sixth major championship out of seven in which they have failed to get the baton round properly.

UK Athletics performance director and acting head coach Neil Black told the BBC: “It’s pretty gutting and I’m sure we all feel the same but that’s the sport.”

The man Black is filling in for as head coach is Peter Eriksson, who left his position at UKA in late June, to take up the same role with Canada. The British quartet of Adam Gemili, Aikines-Aryeetey, Ellington and Chambers clocked a season’s best 37.80 seconds, but it proved irrelevant.

If British relay blunders have become expected, so too have Jamaican wins and Usain Bolt took his World Championships career medal tally into double figures by anchoring Jamaica to gold ahead of the US.

Bolt claimed his third gold of this year’s championships by taking the Jamaica team home in 37.36secs. He performed a Cossack dance on the track for the Luzhniki Stadium crowd, which looked at the fullest it has been all championships, after the race.