Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s men’s 4x100m relay quartet obliterated the field as they sped to World Championship gold in front of an ecstatic home crowd, becoming the third fastest nation of all time.
The fantastic foursome of CJ Ujah (Stuart McMillan), Adam Gemili (Rana Reider), Danny Talbot (Benke Blomkvist) and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver) clocked a phenomenal 2017 world lead and new European record of 37.47 to claim GB & NI’s first ever world 4x100m relay gold medal.
Ujah ran the first leg and exploded out the of blocks, handing to Gemili who accelerated terrifically to give the Brits a notable lead.
Round the top bend Talbot held on superbly before Mitchell-Blake charged home, holding off the USA’s 100m silver medallist Christian Coleman as Jamaica’s star sprinter Usain Bolt, running his last ever race in an illustrious career, pulled up injured.
“I think the public have probably heard enough about us being the best generation of sprinting, with no results. So it’s nice we came here in front of our home crowd and did exactly what we thought we could,” said Talbot after the race.
“We had so much self-belief, we didn’t come here to just get on the podium, we came to win and that’s what we did. The time was a bonus, that wasn’t a focus of ours. Everything just came in to place tonight and we’re so happy.”
There was medal success for GB & NI minutes earlier as the women’s 4x100m quarter of Asha Philip (Steve Fudge), Desiree Henry (Rana Reider), Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) and Daryll Neita (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) went one better than the Olympic bronze they won in Rio last year – and the world bronze they secured in Beijing in 2015 – racing home to silver in 42.12.
Philip burst out the blocks and passed the baton to Henry, who sprinted hard to Asher-Smith. At the final exchange Neita was right up on the USA but she had the 100m champion Tori Bowie to contend with, and the American pulled clear just before the line, clocking a world lead 41.82. Bronze went to Jamaica in 42.19.
“Dina passed to me in a really great position and I was like ‘I’m going to run for my life here,’ and that’s what I did and I crossed the line and we got silver,” exclaimed Neita. “A great effort between the team and even better for the boys!”
For Asher-Smith, who broke her foot earlier in the year and missed much of the season recovering, the reality of what she had achieved had yet to sink in.