24 May 2014
The Great Britain & Northern Ireland team had an impressive first day at the IAAF World Relay Championships.
A truly magnificent carnival atmosphere greeted GB & NI’s top relay athletes on a humid evening in Nassau, Bahamas and they responded with promising and solid performances.
The women’s 4x100m finished fifth in the final, while the men’s and women’s 4x400m qualified for Sunday’s final.
The three squads all successfully sealed their places at the 2015 World Championships.
The sprint quartet of Asha Philip (coach: Christine Bowmaker), Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan), Jodie Williams (Bowmaker) and Desiree Henry (Rana Reider) crossed the line in a season’s best time of 42.75.
“It was a decent time that we ran and we are proud of that. We made the final for the World Championships next year so it is definitely a good start for us," reflected Philip.
“We are working well as a team, we’ve all got personal bests this year. I’m proud of all these girls and we’re really happy to be here.
“Everyone wants to medal but it was the first time we’ve ever ran together. This is only the start for us.”
Martyn Rooney (Reider) particularly impressed with a commanding final leg to bring his comrades of Michael Bingham (George Williams), Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) and Nigel Levine (Christie), home in first place, posting a time of 3:00.74.
“It was fun,” said the Croydon Harrier. “Compared to last year I’ve had a great winter. I’ve trained really well, had a really good camp in Florida and raced a lot.
“It’s a good event. There are top athletes here and the atmosphere is incredible. I don’t want to sound cliché but it inspires you to run well and put on a good show. It’s going to be tough in the final but we will see what happens.”
The women’s quartet, which consisted of senior debutant Emily Diamond (Dan Cossins), Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), Shana Cox (George Williams) and Margaret Adeoye (Christie), clinched their berth in the final crossing the line in third with 3:27.30.
“I loved it” said Diamond. “I was pretty nervous going into the race. I had the Jamaicans just in front of me, I tried as much as I could to not let her get away from me but down the home straight her experience came through. I was trying so hard but I had nothing left (to catch her).
“I’m so happy that we are through to the final. I don’t see why we can’t win a medal tomorrow.”