World Championships 2013: Great Britain disqualified from 4x100m relay and lose bronze medal after illegal changeover between Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Ellington

Baton blunder returns to haunt Britain's sprint relay team

Moscow

For Britain in Moscow, it had all been about the double double but it ended with a baton muddle as one sprint relay medal slipped through their grasp and another landed in their lap.

On a night of confusion, Britain's men's 4x100m relay team won bronze only to be disqualified while the women's sprint contingent, who had finished fourth, were awarded the bronze when their French rivals were themselves disqualified. It proved a bizarre end to the championships but at least meant the team achieved their pre-ordained medal target of six set by UK Sport.

The irony in all this was the men's line-up had been the ones tipped for a medal and, as a result, had been given National Lottery funding in their quest to do so while the women's quartet did not benefit from quite the same riches as their male counterparts.

For the men, though, it was a familiar story. Whatever their line-up, they have had a calamitous record on the big stage, this being a fifth successive major championship disqualification and arguably the most painful.

Adam Gemili, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Ellington and Dwain Chambers had the news broken to them just as they were getting ready for the medal presentation. The problem lay in the second changeover from Aikines-Aryeetey to Ellington, the latter reduced to tears in the bowels of the stadium.

Moscow in 2013 initially appeared to be different to the past fumbles, Chambers coming across the line with the bronze behind Jamaica and the United States. The veteran of the team at 35 was celebrating a historic World Championship medal 14 years after his last in the same event.

But a protest was lodged by Canada, originally in fourth, and replays showed the second changeover had taken place outside the alloted box. There was a sense of irony in the disqualification, in that Canada's head coach is Peter Eriksson, who just seven weeks ago held the same post in Great Britain.

Aikines-Aryeetey said: “It's heart-breaking. I feel like shit. You're going out there to get your medal and then someone stands in front of you and says 'sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You can't take away how much this hurts us. This is painful, one of the most painful experiences I've had in this sport.”

Just as the drama appeared to be over and the stadium packed up, news emerged that France had been disqualified in the women's event ensuring a third bronze for the team in Moscow to add to the three golds.

In the race itself, the four of Dina Asher Smith, Ashleigh Nelson, Annabel Lewis and Hayley Jones had been the fifth-fastest line-up. With an unchanged team for the final, they held second going into the final leg of Jones but dropped down to fourth, just 0.12 seconds off a bronze. It was a painful way to finish but the result was overturned although sadly they did not get their moment on the podium, the four already back in the team hotel by the time the news broke.

After the altered result, Jones said: “I can't even think what to say, I'm shaking right now. We were all screaming in the corridor when we found out. It was so disappointing to finish fourth, it really is the worst place so this is great. I'd heard originally that there were a few things that were a bit dodgy but, with it taking so long to come through I thought the appeal had been rejected.”

A day after the Prime Minister had suggested that Mo Farah was worthy of a knighthood for his two golds at world and Olympic level, there was no doubt who the lord of the Luzhniki was, Usain Bolt once more bringing down the curtain on a major championships with a third gold.

The day, in fact, the whole championships belonged to Bolt. Of male athletes, it put him on a pedestal with eight World Championship gold medals alongside Michael Johnson and Carl Lewis. Only fellow Jamaican Merlene Ottey, with 14 World Championship medals but just three golds, is left to beat on the all-time list. On current form, he will add to that tally at the next Worlds at the Bird's Nest in Beijing, where he first laid down his marker as a global superstar.

For once, this was not about just one man, a trio of his countrymen also playing a part in his third gold in Moscow: Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Asmeade. But it was clear they had only come to watch Bolt, who delighted them with a spot of barefoot cossack dancing proving to be the piece de resistance of this third celebration. The dance moves were not quite befitting of Bob Marley's “Don't Worry”, which has become the familiar refrain for each and every one of Bolt's gold medals in the Russian capital.

Record breaking is something that Bolt does for fun. There was not to be one here in Moscow, three golds and three more world titles will have to suffice. He'd celebrated his previous day's gold with an ice bath. One suspects these celebrations will be quite different.

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee