26th August 2023
PATTISON AND WOMEN’S 4X100M RELAY TEAM SEAL SUPERB WORLD BRONZE MEDALS
Ben Pattison (coach: Dave Ragan, club: Basingstoke and Mid Hants) became the first man in 36 years to take a World Athletics Championship 800m medal while the women’s 4x100m quartet claimed bronze on a stellar night in Budapest.
In a last-lap burnup, Pattison capped his maiden world championships with a brilliant bronze medal, becoming the first British man since 1987 to make the world podium.
The 21-year-old took the race on through the first 200m but dropped into second place at the bell in a cagey opening lab. He held the curb as the pace wound up before making his move into the home straight, shifting through the gears and holding off the challenges outside him to bag a spot on the podium in 1:44.83.
Pattison said: “I can’t think of anything to say. I crossed the line and I feel like I’ll wake up in a minute. All day I’ve had people telling me I’m going to medal and halfway through the day I started to believe it.
“Going into the race I didn’t want to leave with any regrets. I got out hard. It was a slow first lap which suits me and the last 100m I said to myself I’ve got a medal here. To the line it was a battle of who wants it more and I came out on top.
“After the semi I didn’t sleep until 5am because I was buzzing to make the final. Midway through today I was like ‘if you come fourth or eighth no one cares, it’s about the top three’ and I managed to do that today.”
In the night’s final action, the 4x100m quartet of Asha Philip (Amy Deem, Newham and Essex Beagles), Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Ryan Freckleton, Sutton and District), Bianca Williams (Linford Christie, Thames Valley) and Daryll Neita (Marco Airale, Cambridge) secured the seventh medal of the championships for the British team.
Philip ran a strong opening leg to keep the British team in the medal hunt, while Lansiquot’s backstraight kept the squad in serious contention. A slick changeover and excellent bend from Williams put Neita in the medals coming onto the home straight and she held her form, stopping the clock in a season’s best 41.97s.
Philip assessed: “We knew it was going to be tough, all teams are basically top tier right now and we knew if I set us up with a good start we’d come home with another medal.
“That’s what I hope I did. I’m glad that I was able to put the team in a great position and Imani charged down that backstraight and did her thing.”
Neita added: “I tried to stay as relaxed as I could. I saw Bianca come into me and it was all about trust today. It was about getting that baton round in one piece and then just closing to the finish.
“I’m really proud of the girls today, we got a medal and it’s a really inspiring team to be part of. I’m so proud of us.”
The men’s 4x100m quartet of Jeremiah Azu (Marco Airale, Cardiff), Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills, Shaftesbury Barnet), Adam Gemili (Marco Airale, Blackheath and Bromley) and Eugene Amo-Dadzie (Steve Fudge, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) agonisingly missed out on a medal as they finished fourth.
Azu got out quickly from lane four and new world 100m bronze medallist Hughes ran a strong backstraight to keep the British team well in the mix. Gemili stormed round the bend and handed to Amo-Dadzie, who fought to the line, but was pipped to a medal by Jamaica as the quartet took fourth place in a season’s best 37.80s.
Reflecting on the race, Gemili said: “We work really hard as a relay team. We know where the footspeed is now, we’ve got 9.8s and 9.9s, Jez [Jeremiah] has run 10.0 this year.
“I know I can run a great bend and that’s what they put me on the third leg for, to stay in the mix and stay in contention and I believe I did that.”
Amo-Dadzie added: “I think this is a massive learning experience and I’m going to bank that. Of course I’m disappointed not to be able to anchor the boys home to some hardware but I’m tremendously proud of the boys and thankful to these guys and the team.
“Often in this sport it’s very individual but with the relay you really see that it’s a team effort.”
In the night’s earlier action, there was joy for the women’s and men’s 4x400m quartets as both made safe progress into tomorrow’s final with solid performances.
The women’s quartet of Laviai Nielsen (Phillip Unfried, Enfield and Haringey), Amber Anning (Chris Johnson, Brighton & Hove), Nicole Yeargin (Boogie Johnson, Pitreavie) and Yemi Mary John (Alan James, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) made light work of qualifying for the final, finishing first in 3:23.33.
Mixed 4x400m medallist Nielsen went out hard with a stellar first leg, exchanging the baton with Anning in first place and Anning solidified that position with an excellent second leg.
Yeargin was embroiled in a battle with the United States on the third leg and came out with the upper hand, changing over to put Yemi Mary John in the lead and she guided the team home in first place.
Nielsen assessed: “I’ve never ran a first leg at a championships before so I was a little bit nervous this morning. I have such faith in this team, we’re so strong and I knew that if I set it up well, we’d have a good chance.”
For the men’s contingent, it all came down to the dip as Lewis Davey (Trevor Painter, Newham and Essex Beagles), Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist, Colchester), Rio Mitcham (Leon Baptiste, Birchfield) and Alex Haydock-Wilson (Benke Blomkvist, Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) hung on to secure their place in tomorrow’s 4x400m final.
Davey, who medalled in the 4x400m mixed relay earlier in the week, ran a strong opening leg, passing the baton to Dobson, had the British team fourth at the halfway point with an excellent second leg.
Fellow mixed 4x400m medallist Mitcham finished strongly to handover to Haydock-Wilson in third spot and the anchorman dug in deep on the last lap to pinch third spot in 2:59.42.
Haydock-Wilson reflected on the performance: “I was ordering myself in the call room to trust these guys and they really did make my job easy for me. I could trust that they would give their all and if I’m trusting them to then I can trust myself as well.
“When I got that baton, I knew I’d do whatever it took to get us into that final tomorrow and tomorrow I’ll have the same mindset and do whatever it takes to get us onto that podium.”
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal tally:
Gold (2): Katarina Johnson-Thompson – Women’s Heptathlon, Josh Kerr – Men’s 1500m
Silver (2): Mixed 4x400m Relay, Matthew Hudson-Smith – Men’s 400m
Bronze (3): Zharnel Hughes – Men’s 100m, Ben Pattison – Men’s 800m, Women’s 4x100m relay