Buck stops the rot after another GB relay disaster

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Five days of action for the British team at the European Championships came to an end in Helsinki last night when Richard Buck crossed the line to secure second place for the men's 4 x 400m relay team. It was a silver lining, one of two on the final day, that took the GB medal haul to seven but after yet another Great British sprint relay disaster it was doubtful that the buck would stop there.

After the women's 4x100m relay quartet were disqualified from their semi-final on Saturday, and more importantly failed to qualify for the London Olympics, the men's 4 x 100m team got in on the slapstick act, being unable to get the baton round in their final yesterday. In fact, they could not get it past first base, Christian Malcolm failing to get the stick into the hands of second leg runner and fellow seasoned speed merchant Dwain Chambers.

"I'll take responsibility," Malcolm said. "It was my job to get the baton to Dwain and I couldn't quite do it. I'm gutted."

Chambers, back in the GB squad at a major championship for the first time since the 2006 European Championships, said: "We've just got to learn from our mistakes. We've got to sit back and review."

It was all just a little bit of history repeating – a third cock-up in four major championships for the British men's 4x100m squad, following the fumbled exchanges, dropped batons and other errors that added up to abject failures at the 2008 Olympics, 2010 European Championships and 2011 World Championships.

At least the British men's 4x100m have a place at the London Olympics. The women lost theirs when they dropped out of the top 16 in the rankings after Saturday's disqualification."It was an accident waiting to happen," said the GB head coach, Charles van Commenee, who dropped the women's 4x100m relay team from funding after their failure at the last European Championships in Barcelona two years ago. "We've been underperforming in that area for 10 years."

Minus Christine Ohuruogu and Perri Shakes-Drayton, the GB women's 4 x 400m team (Shana Cox, Nicola Sanders, Lee McConnell and Elidh Child) finished out of the medals in fourth place in their final yesterday. The men's quartet – Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams, Rob Tobin and Buck – took silver behind Belgium in 3min 01.56sec.

There was also a silver for 38-year-old Jo Pavey as the British team – at considerably less than full strength a month away from the Olympics – finished sixth in the medal table. The veteran Exeter Harrier was runner-up to Dulce Felix of Portugal in the 10,000m, clocking 31min 49.03sec. "It's a nice surprise to feel I can still do it at this age," she said.

JJ Jegede almost emerged with a surprise medal in the long jump after a wind-assisted second round jump of 8.10m. The 26-year-old East Ender was knocked down to fourth place, however, and will miss out on Olympic selection, having failed to achieve the 'A' standard qualifying distance of 8.20m.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future