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Relays, records & Revised results

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Asher-Smith, Henry, Mitchell-Blake, Reid, Hudson-Smith
21 July 2013

The final morning session of the 2013 European Athletics Junior Championships was meant to be a quiet one for the GB & NI, with just the 4x100m teams in action, however it proved to be anything but.

When the women took to the track in the second semi-final, there was certainly no hangover effect from last night’s record breaking session.  Yasmin Miller (Coach: Jared Deacon) look determined to make amends for her fall in the 100mH, and she ran a great bend before safely passing the baton to Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie). As you’d expect, Asher-Smith made further inroads into the stagger of the teams outside her, as she stormed down the back straight. Another clean change gave Steffi Wilson (Graeme Gourlay) the chance to put the team into a firm lead, and she seized it with both hands before handing over to  European Junior 200m silver medallist Desiree Henry (Stanley Madiri). Henry closed hard down the home straight to hold off France’s 100m champion Stella Akakpo.

The winning time for the GB & NI team was 43.89, which is a new national record. The women go into the final as firm favourites, with every chance of lowering their national record further still.

After the race Miller commented: “It was good. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, but when I saw Dina had the baton I knew I was safe, so I’m really happy.”

Of her leg, European Junior 200m champion Asher-Smith said: “I was really happy with my leg and was just focused on trying to gain on the Belgian outside of me, which I think I did, and then just pass it to Steffi. When she had it I just thought phew!”

Wilson added: “The change was good and from then on I was running scared, and just excited to be in the team. It went really well.”

Anchoring the team home, Henry admitted: “It was quite frightening [being chased by the 100m champion] but the rest of the girls had done so well, and Steffi came round the bend like a rocket, so I just knew I had to maintain it for the girls.

Asher-Smith concluded:

“We’re so happy to break the national record, but we’ve just got to stay focused for the final, stay grounded, and make sure it counts in the final.”

There was drama in the men’s equivalent, an event where the team has admittedly had problems over the past few years. Josh Cox (Alan Watts) got his job done without any fuss on leg one, before handing the baton safely to last night’s 200m champion Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Mark Elliot). He powered down the back straight, before planting the baton safely into Leon Reid’s (James Hillier) hand. However two strides later the baton was on the ground, no thanks to a flailing Ukranian arm from the lane outside, leaving Roy Ejiakuekwu (Keith Hunter) perplexed by the situation.

An appeal was submitted and after a rather anxious 45 minute wait, the team were granted a time trial to secure a fastest loser spot in this afternoon’s final. As they say, the rest is history, with the team combining seamlessly on a deserted track to post 39.96 and advance to the final as the quickest of all eight quartets. 

For start lists and full results, please click here: http://la.sportresult.com/ajax/eaa2.asp?module=timetable_date&event_id=10013400000002&lang=en

You can also follow updates of all GB & NI performances via our twitter page: @BritAthletics 

A live stream of the event can be found on the European Athletics website: http://eurovision.digotel.com/ea/index.html