Team GB reach 4 x 400 metres relay final with impressive run


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The Independent Online

Jack Green today lived up to his promise to show what he is capable of with a baton in his hand by helping Britain reach the final of the men's 4x400m relay.

Green was devastated to bow out of his specialist event, the 400m hurdles, in the semi-finals after hitting the third hurdle and crashing to the track.

The 20-year-old was determined to prove firstly his fitness and then show he deserved his place on the relay team, doing so with a storming finish to the third leg to give anchor runner Martyn Rooney a narrow lead.

Rooney held that lead until easing up just before the line, allowing Trinidad and Tobago to take first place, although both teams were given the same time of three minutes 00.38 seconds to qualify automatically for the final.

The Bahamas and the United States were also given the same time of 2mins 58.87secs in the second semi-final to qualify quickest, but any faint hopes of Usain Bolt appearing in the 4x400m final were ended when Jamaican team-mate Jermaine Gonzales pulled up injured on the third leg.

Green, whose training partner and world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene could feature in the final, said: "I am gutted about my individual event, but it was nice to come here and kind of make up for that.

"I've only half made up for it, I've got to run well tomorrow as well if I'm in the team. I'd like to think I've done enough to be in the team, I put us in a very good place, but I'm not in charge of the team.

"But it felt good, it felt quite controlled, felt like there's a bit more there. I didn't want to go off crazy, especially with the anger I've got in me still from the hurdles.

"I think if the relay was a single individual event that would be my event, it's much better than the hurdles, I haven't got anything to trip over. I think that was just a hint of what I can do."

Asked about coping with his fall in the hurdles, Green added: "I was very disappointed. I still wanted to run but I kind of didn't. It would have been nice just to finish up, leave it there, but this is an Olympics in my home country and I have an opportunity to try and win a medal so I'm going to try and do that."

Rooney added: "I was pleasantly surprised when I got the baton in front. It's definitely a great place to be in front of the home crowd. I eased up quite early, I thought the Trinidad guy wasn't going to get there so I looked the other way and he dipped.

"It's a rookie mistake and I'm disappointed that I didn't win it for the team because the guys ran so well. I definitely wasn't being pushed so I'm excited about tomorrow. I think we've got to go in there believing that we can win a medal."

Nigel Levine, who ran the first leg, added: "The aim was to qualify very easily. We finished second by a minor mistake by Rooney. But we all know that it's going to be a better day tomorrow.

"We were all disappointed to just be semi-finalists in the individual, but we've got another opportunity to run and show everyone what we can do."

Conrad Williams, who ran the second leg, added: "We've got 2:59 in us and we're definitely going to have to break three minutes to get on that medal rostrum.

"We can do that, Rooney eased back knowing we were through, that's the main thing. We've had three days rest so we are fresh. But it's still going to be tough to make a medal so we're not counting our eggs before they've hatched."