World Relays: British Athletics defends absent sprinters

(left to right) Adam Gemili, Richard Kilty, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Ellington
Britain's men's 4x100m relay team won gold at last summer's European Championships

British Athletics' performance director Neil Black has defended the sprinters who did not compete at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas at the weekend.

Richard Kilty said he felt "let down" by absent members as Britain's 4x100m team missed out on a chance to qualify for Rio 2016 via the World Relays.

Among those missing were Adam Gemili, James Dasaolu and Chijindu Ujah.

Black said: "That one event will be forgotten in a few weeks' time and there's loads of time to qualify."

Britain came ninth in the heats in Nassau, narrowly missing the A final and an early shot at Rio qualification.

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British women take world relay bronze

World indoor 60m champion Kilty said the team would have challenged for gold had Britain taken their best team to the Bahamas.

The reasons given for Britain's best sprinters skipping the trip ranged from minor injuries to permitted absence due to university exams and summer outdoor plans.

Black added: "Our focus is towards the World Championships in Beijing, it's towards the Olympics in Rio.

"With particular reference to Adam [absent to focus on university exams] and James they are on the world-class performance programme as individual athletes and, as a result, we allow them a degree of preference and planning to their individual programme."

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