GB and US teams out of relay

Great Britain will not be able to defend their Olympic 4x100 metres relay title after being disqualified from tonight's semi-finals in Beijing.

The British quartet of Simeon Williamson, Tyrone Edgar, Marlon Devonish and Craig Pickering finished second behind Jamaica in 38.71 seconds, but botched the final changeover.



Pickering went off way too early on the final leg and only received the baton from Devonish after running outside the changeover box at the top of the home straight.



The United States, runners up to Britain in Athens four years ago, also crashed out after Darvis Patton and Tyson Gay dropped the baton on the final changeover in the opening semi-final.

A disappointed Pickering told BBC Sport: "I'm very disappointed. It's a shame because we've got a really good team. I'm sorry."

Marlon Devonish leapt to Pickering's defence. He said: "Craig should not take full responsibility, it's a team event. We trained really hard for this and anything can happen."

As for the Americans, world champion Gay - who failed to make the final of the individual 100m - said: "The stick was in my hand but when I went to grab it he had already let go. It takes a second to feel it.

"It is probably my fault. I am going to take the blame for it. I have never dropped a stick in my life. It is just the way it has been happening for me this year."



There was more misery for the United States in the women's relay when they again dropped the baton on the final changeover, Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams this time the guilty duo.



Belgium won the first semi-final in 42.92 seconds ahead of the British quartet of 100m individual finalist Jeanette Kwakye, Montell Douglas, Emily Freeman and Emma Ania.



Jamaica cruised to victory in the second semi-final with Veronica Campbell-Brown running the anchor leg 90 minutes after successfully defending her 200 metres title.

Devonish, the only member of the victorious team from Athens, added: "We're bitterly disappointed, totally gutted.

"There's been a lot of expectation on this team. We didn't come here to play games but it's a team event and we all take full responsibility. There are no excuses.



"I'm not sure if Craig went early, everything happens so quickly in relay."



Sayers, who suffered a bout of food poisoning at the team's training camp in Macau before arriving in Beijing, said: "To be beaten by two people who have thrown 70m, I can't do any more. But fourth is a difficult place to finish.



"You could see it was going to be a big championship and I think it was one of the greatest finals ever and I feel very proud to have been part of it."



Asked about her British record throw, she added: "I don't think it was one of my better throws, I think it was just a bit drier! Conditions were dragging things down a bit."



In the men's 400m, Martyn Rooney finished sixth in the final as defending champion Jeremy Wariner was surprisingly beaten into second place by team-mate LaShawn Merritt.



Merritt took gold in a time of 43.75s with David Neville's desperate lunge at the line securing a 1-2-3 for the American trio.





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

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

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
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