30th July 2021


A national record was set as the British mixed 4x400m relay team made it through to the Olympic final, while Marc Scott finished 14th in the men’s 10,000m final.

Cameron Chalmers (Matt Elias, Guernsey), Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna, Thames Valley), Emily Diamond (Benke Blomkvist, Bristol and West) and Lee Thompson (John Henson, Sheffield and Dearne) finished fourth in their heat in a time of 3:11.95, enough to secure a spot in Saturday’s showpiece (1.35pm BST).

Diamond – the only member of the quartet with prior Olympic experience – was part of the women’s 4x400m relay team who won bronze at Rio 2016 and the Bristol-born star believes the mixed four are well set going into the final.

“I think we’re in a really good position as a team, but also as individuals as well,” she said.

“This was kind of like the dress rehearsal in a way. We went out there, dusted off the cobwebs and got rid of a few nerves.

“It’s a few of these guys’ first Games, which is always a bit daunting.

“The Olympic Games just holds something a bit extra in your heart so it’s nice to get that run out today. Tomorrow we’ll knuckle down and try and get a medal.”

Diamond’s positive words were echoed by Sheffield’s Thompson, who ran his fastest ever 4x400m split of 45.42 seconds on the anchor leg and was delighted with the time the quartet recorded.

“It has been 18 months of uncertainty of whether we’re going to have it or not so to come here, put in a national record and make the final – you can’t ask for more than that,” said Thompson.

“But now we want more, and we want to challenge for a medal in the final.”

Away from the relay action, Northallerton’s Marc Scott (Jerry Schumacher, Richmond and Zetland) finished 14th in the men’s 10,000m final.

The 27-year-old battled the blistering heat in the Japanese capital to record a time of 28:09.23 and admitted the conditions were tricky to overcome.

“It said it was 30 degrees on the track and it felt even hotter than that,” he said.

“Going into the race you feel good, the laps go by and you’re still feeling good, and then just bam, it hits you pretty hard. It was over the last mile where I struggled a lot more than I thought I would.

“With the conditions, there’s not much that you can do about it, you’re either in it or you’re not, so you’ve just got to commit to it either way regardless of the conditions because if the race gets away from you then you’re not going to do much.”

Sam Atkin (Mike Collins, Lincoln Wellington) had to withdraw from the race at the halfway mark.

Jessica Judd (Mick Judd, Blackburn), Stockport’s Amy-Eloise Markovc (Chris Fox, Wakefield) and Eilish McColgan (Liz Nuttall, Dundee Hawkhill) missed out on making the 5000m final.

The 26-year-old Markovc set a new personal best of 15:03.22 to finish ninth in the second heat, one place ahead of McColgan (15:09.68) who had experienced a coming together with athletes on the penultimate lap which disrupted her rhythm. Judd was 13th in heat two in a time of 15:09:47.

Meanwhile, Sophie McKinna (Mike Winch, Great Yarmouth) missed out on the shot put final, as her best distance of 17.81m in qualifying saw her finish 17th in the overall standings.