GB fall short in relays

Rooney held off by Trinidad on a courageous anchor-leg run

Last Updated: 10/08/12 11:40pm

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Rooney missed out on winning GB a relay medal

Rooney missed out on winning GB a relay medal

Great Britain just missed out on a medal in the 4x400m as they finished fourth at the Olympic Stadium while the sprint relay quartet failed to reach their final after a costly baton changeover mistake.

Martyn Rooney attacked round the final bend and on the home straight past Russia's Pavel Trenikhin and was closing on Trinidad's Deon Lendore, but his courageous anchor-leg run was to be in vain.

The host quartet, which also included Conrad Williams, Jack Green and Dai Greene, finished in two minutes 59.53 seconds.

Bahamas claimed a shock victory in 2:56.72, with the United States second and Trinidad third, 0.31s ahead of Britain.

South Africa, with Oscar Pistorius on the fourth leg, finished eighth.

Rooney said: "It doesn't matter if you come eighth or fourth, it's the same place if you don't get a medal.

"I am gutted for the guys, I genuinely thought I was going to catch the guy and I should have caught him.

"I am disappointed, they set me up really well but we came here and had a good go. I don't think there is anyone in the team who didn't run 110%, we went for it and just came up short unfortunately."

Rooney's split was a very impressive 44.09secs, while Williams and Green also ran well, but Greene, who had the slowest split on the third leg, looked a little tired after his disappointing fourth place in the 400m hurdles.

He said: "I had a massive downer (after that race), but had good people in my camp to try and raise my spirits.

"I thought I did a solid leg, don't think I lost too much ground on the guys in front."

Williams said: "We pushed and we dug in and just happened that 0.1 separates us and Trinidad."

Green added: "It's a shame to miss out by 0.1, especially in front of a home crowd."

Baton blunder

Earlier in the night, the 4x100m relay team was disqualified when anchor leg runner Adam Gemili set off too early as he was about to take the baton from Danny Talbot.

The 18-year-old slowed down dramatically, but the changeover still occurred outside the designated area.

Gemili sprinted for the line and came home second, but the fact he immediately put his hands to his head told the story.

The mistake continues a woeful record for Britain in the event, who, aside from the one glorious exception at the Athens 2004 Olympics, have lurched from one failure to the next.

Dropped batons at the Olympics in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000) and the World Championships in Edmonton (2001), along with a disqualification at the last Olympics in Beijing and the World Championships in Daegu (2011) have ended their chances.

They also went out in the first round at the last European Championships in Barcelona two years ago, while at the most recent Europeans earlier this summer they also failed to get the baton round.

Jamaica, without Usain Bolt, qualified safely, but the United States were the quickest through in a new national record of 37.38 seconds.

Gemili told the BBC: "I went off and maybe I went a bit harder...I don't know.

"We really could have been in contention in the final had we made it.

"It really is disappointing. I think I went on the check mark maybe a tiny bit early."

For Chambers, who ran the second leg, this was almost certainly his last race at an Olympics.

And he was keen to keep his teenage team-mate's spirits up.

He said: "We're proud to have been here representing our country.

"Adam's had a fantastic start to his season.

"This is his first or second season in athletics and he was asked to do a big task.

"I'm proud of him more than anything else.

"We have to build as a team and hopefully can do better throughout the summer and next year."

Final destination

The women's 4x400m team booked their place in Saturday's final by finishing a comfortable third in their heat.

The quartet of Shana Cox, Lee McConnell, Eilidh Child and Christine Ohuruogu, the individual silver medallist, clocked 3mins 25.05 secs.

Britain, who are the reigning world indoor champions, finished behind heat winners the United States and Russia.

The top two were well clear and look set to battle it out for the gold, but the hosts will fancy their medal chances, with Ohuruogu especially looking like had more in the tank and Perri Shakes-Drayton to come in.

Ohuruogu said: "We are a good team so we knew we were going to get through. I've recovered from the individual, I had four days so it's loads of time."

Child added: "It was just a case of getting it round safely and securing that spot for tomorrow. So job done really."

Cox, who ran the first leg, said: "I was happy with it, just trying to put myself in a good position for Lee and the rest of the team."

McConnell added: "There was a little bit of barging going into the bend but it was good fun, I held my position so I can't complain."

Disappointing

Asli Cakir Alptekin took gold in the women's 1,500m as the British challenge failed to materialise.

The Turkish athlete won a slow race in 4:10.23, finishing ahead of compatriot Gamze Bulut, with Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal third.

Lisa Dobriskey, for whom reaching the final was some achievement having battled back from potentially life-threatening blood clots on her lungs, was 10th in 4:13.02 and Laura Weightman, in her first major championship, 11th in 4:15.60.

Dobriskey told the BBC: "I found myself in the wrong place. You have to be right on it when they go and I was too far back.

"I knew the other girls were very strong and it would have been very hard to have got a medal."

There was more agony for American Morgan Uceny as she fell for the second major final in succession, having also hit the track at last year's World Championships in Daegu when she was one of the favourites.

Plucky Pavey

Jo Pavey and Julia Bleasdale finished seventh and eighth respectively as Meseret Defar claimed gold in the 5,000m final.

The Ethiopian denied her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba the chance to add another title to the 10,000m crown she won a week ago, having taken gold in both events in Beijing.

Instead Defar, who won 5,000m gold eight years ago in Athens, held off her challengers down the home straight to win in 15m 04.25s.

Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot was second with Dibaba getting the bronze.

Fifth

Britain's Steve Lewis had to settle for joint fifth place in the pole vault with a best of 5.75m.

The event was won by France's Renaud Lavillenie, who set an Olympic record 5.97m.

Germany's Bjorn Otto was second with 5.91m, ahead of fellow countryman Raphael Holzdeppe on countback.

Hammer blow

Sophie Hitchon finished 12th in the hammer final after failing to repeat her impressive qualifying throw.

The 21-year-old, who broke her British record with a 71.98m throw in qualifying, could only manage a best of 69.33m on Friday.

It would have taken a huge personal best to make the top-eight cut in any case, though.

The event was won by Russia's Tatyana Lysenko, who produced an Olympic record of 78.18m.

Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk took the silver with a final throw of 77.60m and Germany's Betty Heidler clinched bronze with 77.13.

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