World Championships 2013: UK Athletics performance director Neil Black takes the positives after GB hit medals target

Emergence of new faces delights UK director as team bag six medals in tough, transitional year

The UK Athletics performance director, Neil Black, believes Britain has every reason to feel positive after achieving the medal target of six set by UK Sport at the World Championships in Moscow.

It looked as though Great Britain would end up just one shy with five medals only for the result of the women's 4x100m relay to be overturned ensuring a third bronze medal for the team in addition to three earlier golds.

"I really feel inherently positive and I'm not just saying that," said Black. "The athletes, the attitude, the sense of team-ness, the positive environment, the communication, all that leaves a positive feel."

The big disappointment on the final day had been the disqualification of the men's relay team for a botched handover after initially being awarded the bronze medal. The relay aside, the other disappointments came in the 400m hurdles where Dai Greene had come to Moscow as defending champion but had been injured, while Perri Shakes-Drayton, a contender for gold in the women's event, damaged her left knee and, as a result, limped across the line in her final, way outside the medals.

In addition, Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz lacked the same form and fluency of last year, while Jessica Ennis-Hill, usually a banker for a medal, was back at home nursing her injured Achilles.

With those injuries in mind and some new faces emerging, Black fired a positive note: "The Jessica Judds, Chris O'Hare's [who ran in the 800m and 1500m respectively], the young people, I think that all helps. It's about looking forward with the positive momentum, which we feel is there.

"It's a transition year, lots of change we've been through, that I think we've managed well and which we're coming out the other end of. We can see where the medals are going to come from in the future."

The total of six medals was marginally down on Daegu two years ago when the team ended up with seven in all, although the haul of three golds was Britain's best ever at a Worlds, matching the heroics of Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Colin Jackson 20 years ago in Stuttgart.

Black, though, knows he still faces some potentially tough questioning in a results-driven business in a post-Olympic year with expectations ever higher. He added: "I'm a realist, it's been a tough year and this is the World Championships, we've got to remember that. I think what we've got to do is look at really converting those medals. Jess, I know, is going to come back with a vengeance, and Mo [Farah] and Chrissy [Ohuruogu] are showing signs of still being ongoing. I'm not concerned."

Of all the prospects for the future, Adam Gemili is probably the most exciting. He became only the second British man in history to duck under the 20-second barrier in the semi-finals of the 200m and missed out on a medal in the final by just 0.04 seconds. Black described him as "one of the people who has huge potential". He added: "How far he can go, we don't know at this stage. But we are incredibly optimistic."

Despite the promise of Gemili and James Dasaolu, Britain's most recent sub-10-second runner, it proved a medal-less championship for the home-grown sprinters – mainly because of the relay error – but Black insisted that money and resources would still be thrown at the team events. He said: "We'll look at things and review the process but whatever happens we'll be investing in relays going forward. We believe in the relays. We're going to be investing in them."

British winners...

Mo Farah

He came, he saw, he conquered, seeing off the opposition twice over, as he had done at London 2012. The Fly Mo's five global (World Championship and Olympic) titles make him the most successful British athlete of all time, by a margin of two golds. The challenge of the marathon awaits.

Christine Ohuruogu

A week on, as she packs her 400m gold medal in her bag, the Great Britain captain is probably still wondering how she did it. The women's one-lap final was the race of these championships.

Tiffany Porter

A brilliant performance to take bronze behind Brianna Rollins and Sally Pearson in the 100m hurdles. The former US junior international has endured a testing time since switching allegiance to the land of her father (and mother) but this was the best of British.

Adam Gemili

It was stunning enough that he got to the Olympic 100m semis as an 18-year-old. A 19.98sec 200m semi-final run and fifth-placed finish in the final confirmed the Dartford flyer as a global sprint force to be reckoned with.

... and losers

Shara Proctor

Last year she registered the best mark in long jump qualifying at London 2012 only to finish ninth in the final. In Moscow she again led the qualifying field but finished sixth. Her qualifying round jump, 6.85m, would have won bronze.

Dai Greene

There was never any great hope of the off-colour Welshman successfully defending the 400m hurdles title he had claimed with his grandstand finish in Daegu two years ago.

Perri Shakes-Drayton

A big hope for silver in the 400m hurdles but bashed a knee at the first hurdle, trailing home seventh – another poor reflection of her true global standing after she tweaked a hamstring and failed to reach last year's Olympic final.

Greg Rutherford

It was always going to be a wing and a prayer mission for the Olympic long jump champion after the hamstring tear he suffered in Paris last month. His qualifying round exit came as a disappointment but no great surprise.

Simon Turnbull

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
These photographs released by the University of Maryland Medical Center show images of full face transplant recipient 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris of Hillsville, Virginia
mediaGQ front page features man who underwent full face transplant
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
Arts and Entertainment
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Developer

£475 - £550 per day: Progressive Recruitment: MDAX / Dynamics AX / Microsoft D...

.Net/ C# Developer/ Analyst Programmer - Eciting new Role

£45000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .NET/ C# .Pr...

Business Analyst - London - Banking - £400-£450

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Banking - London...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on