London 2017: Being world champions is 'crazy' says Gemili
PUBLISHED: 23:01 12 August 2017 | UPDATED: 23:01 12 August 2017
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Mitchell-Blake: We smashed it to pieces
Adam Gemili admitted it was ‘crazy’ to think of Great Britain as 4x100m relay world champions, following their stunning success at London Stadium.
Former University of East London student Gemili took the baton from lead-off man CJ Ujah and produced a superb burst on the back straight, before handing over to Danny Talbot.
And Newham & Essex Beagles Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake ran an excellent anchor leg to hold off American rival Christian Coleman and win gold in a British record time of 37.47 seconds, the third-fastest of all time.
Gemili said: “We’re world champions, it’s crazy to think. I feel so grateful to be in this team, especially to run it with Danny, as we have some not nice memories from London 2012, in terms of the relay.
“Five years later to come and run it today, we couldn’t have done it without the support of the team, the coaches, everyone and the crowd has been fantastic and we want to say thank you.
“You’ve got to keep working hard, keep believing, it’s a dream and a reality tonight. Wow, it’s just crazy.”
Newham-born Mitchell-Blake had finished fourth in the 200m final and, having spent some of his childhood living in Jamaica, ensured a sad ending to the legendary Usain Bolt’s career with his dash for the line, as the eight-time Olympic champion pulled up with a hamstring injury in the home straight.
Mitchell-Blake added: “I wasn’t sure. You can’t guarantee anything in this sport. I knew it was down to the line and I gave it my all and dipped and in my peripheral I could see Coleman so I wasn’t sure what was going on.
“But once the time showed we had won, the feeling, emotion and euphoria, I’m still trying to register that we’re actually world champions.
“It wasn’t done by the guys ourselves, but the whole British Athletics staff, our parents, our personal coaches.
“I came into the team late, but they embraced me, believed in me and after the heat I told them, I’ve got them. They were kind of upset that we’d missed the British record by such a margin but I knew given the opportunity we could get the stick around and we smashed it to pieces.”
Those thoughts were echoed by the women’s quartet following their silver-medal winning exploits, with Daryll Neita saying: “We’ve smashed it. We worked so hard for this. Us girls and boys have both done so well and we’re so proud of each other.
“I tried my best down that last stretch and I’m glad to bring the team home to silver. We work so hard as a team so we are delighted.”
Dina Asher-Smith added; “To upgrade from Olympic bronze to world silver with these girls has been absolutely incredible and to do it at home means so much.
“Thank you so much to this incredible crowd. What a lift they gave us. We are so proud to win the medal in London.”
Desiree Henry said: “The relay is so, so important. At the end of the day none of us could do it alone, it’s one big team effort.”