The GB & NI men’s and women’s 4x100m relay teams both took silver on the penultimate night of the IAAF World Championships in Doha – which included an historic third medal for Dina Asher-Smith (club: Blackheath & Bromley; coach: John Blackie) – to take the British Athletics team tally to five.
The women’s 4x100m relay quartet of Asha Philip (Newham & Essex Beagles; Steve Fudge), Asher-Smith, Ashleigh Nelson (City of Stoke; Michael Afilaka) and Daryll Neita (Cambridge Harriers; Jonas Dodoo) matched their feat from London two years ago, claiming the silver medal in a season’s best 41.85.
For Asher-Smith it took her personal tally to three medals following silver in the 100m and gold in the 200m, both in British records, as she became the first GB & NI athlete ever to climb the podium three times at a single World Championships.
The men’s 4x100m relay quartet of Adam Gemili (Blackheath & Bromley; Rana Reider), Zharnel Hughes (Shaftesbury Barnet; Glen Mills), Richard Kilty (Middlesbrough (Mandale); Benke Blomkvist) and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Lance Brauman; Newham & Essex Beagles) followed the women’s four and clocked a new European record of 37.36 for silver themselves.
For the women, a strong start by Philip, who replaced Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Sutton & District; Fudge) after she aggravated a thigh injury in warm up, was matched on the back straight by an excellent leg from Asher-Smith. Nelson flew around the bend and Neita brought the team home to silver, holding off the challenge of the United States.
Asher-Smith said: “I think we all handled the situation fantastically and it’s testament to the experience we’ve all got in the squad and between us. I don’t know how many championships we’ve done but we’ve got the experience to substitute people and it shows because we’ve almost run a personal best not having practiced any of these changes in warm-up. It’s been a good champs but this is a team event and it’s testament to all these other ladies’ hard work.”
Nelson added: “I was laughing being interviewed by my former training partner, Jeanette Kwakye, and today I’m crying because it’s my first time running the relay since 2014 and I means so much to me, my coach and everybody but I couldn’t have done it without these girls.”