Raised eyebrows over GB relay taunts

The men's relay team have defended their over zealous celebrations as they came first in the 4x400m relay heat.

The women's relay took place first and Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu almost cost Britain a place in the final of the 4x400 metres relay in Beijing.

Ohuruogu ran the final leg in the Bird's Nest stadium and took over in second place behind Russia after good runs by Nicola Sanders, heptathlete Kelly Sotherton and 800m specialist Marilyn Okoro.

With the top three in each semi-final qualifying automatically, Ohuruogu looked to have an easy task but almost took it too easy on the home straight as the Russian quartet strode to victory.

Ohuruogu then let Cuba's Indira Terrero go past and was almost caught by Germany's Claudia Hoffmann before looking up at the big screen and putting in a vital late burst to finish third in three minutes 25.48 seconds.

"I was just told to qualify so I was taking it easy but I didn't see the German," Ohuruogu admitted.

Sotherton, in the side after Lee McConnell was forced to pull out with a quad muscle tear, added: "I felt that was a very sensible race for me. I set a pretty good pace.

"I was petrified getting the baton from Nicola and passing it on to Marilyn but I think we'll step it up tomorrow. I'm only in the team because Lee is not able to compete and I hope I've done her justice."

In the men's event, the quartet of Andrew Steele, Robert Tobin, Michael Bingham and individual finalist Martyn Rooney cruised into the final by winning the second semi-final in the fastest time of 2:59.33.

However, Rooney's taunting of the Bahamas and Jamaica before he crossed the line was completely unwarranted and the United States remain hot favourites after winning their semi despite resting individual gold and silver medallists LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner.

Rooney defended his premature celebrations, saying: "The relay is all about having fun. We are at the Olympics, we are running well, it was a quick time without doing any real work so I enjoyed it.

"The rest of the team are all pretty fresh and left with me very little to do which was what I wanted. It was good fun, tomorrow we are going to bring on our A game and take on the best."

Rooney acknowledged the American quartet are huge favourites but hinted the Jamaican team could spring a surprise by adding Usain Bolt to their line up.

"The Americans have the best team obviously with the first three in the 400m and then it's between us and the Jamaicans, although they might bring in a special guy," he added. "The Russians broke their national record but we are pretty confident."

Jade Johnson produced a highly-consistent series in the long jump final but had to settle for seventh place with a best of 6.64m in the second round.

Brazil's Maurren Maggi led after the opening round with a jump of 7.04m and dramatically held onto the gold medal as defending champion Tatyana Lebedeva jumped 7.03m in the final round.

Blessing Okagbare, who only made the final after Ukraine's Lyudmila Blonska was thrown out of the Games for failing a drugs test, took bronze with a best of 6.91m.

There was yet more baton-changing drama in the final of the women's 4x100m relay with both Britain and hot favourites Jamaica failing to finish.

Both teams made a mess of the second changeover, Montell Douglas failing to get the baton to Emily Freeman - who may have gone off too early - and Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart doing the same for the Jamaicans.

That left the Russian quartet clear to take gold ahead of Belgium and Nigeria.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty

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

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

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album