Commonwealth Games: England win gold in men's and women's 4x100m relays

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England women win gold in 4x100m relay final
2018 Commonwealth Games
Venue: Gold Coast, Australia Dates: 4-15 April
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with extra streams on Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app; listen on Radio 5 live; follow text updates online. Times and channels

England won gold in both the men's and women's 4x100m relays on the final day of athletics at the Commonwealth Games.

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey anchored home the men's quartet, holding off South Africa's 100m champion Akani Simbine.

Lorraine Ugen then resisted Jamaica's double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson to take gold for the women's team.

Morgan Lake won high jump silver, Laura Weightman took 5,000m bronze and Scotland's Jake Wightman got 1500m bronze.

Wightman ran a strong final 150 metres to finish ahead of England's Charlie Grice as he chased home Kenya's Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot.

Emily Diamond produced a brave run on the final leg for England's 4x400m team, but was overhauled in the final 50m by Botswana's 400m champion Amantle Montsho in a duel for third.

In the final race of the day, England's men's team saw their title taken by Botswana after an injury to Matthew Hudson-Smith cost them qualification from the heats.

However, the success of England's 4x100 teams continues a trend set by Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics and London 2017 World Championships.

Despite running a personal best 11.37 in March, anchor-leg runner Ugen - who finished fourth in Thursday's long jump final - was a surprise inclusion in the team with world silver winners Desiree Henry and Daryll Neita absent.

A powerful start from Asha Philip, a storming back straight from Dina Asher-Smith and expert bend from Bianca Williams, ensured Ugen enough of a cushion to withstand Thompson's challenge and set a new English record of 42.46 seconds.

"I was told that I had to run so I was like, 'OK, I can't disgrace myself,' said Ugen.

"Bianca gave me the baton and it was, 'OK, go, go, go.'"

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England men win 4x100m relay gold

With the entire quartet who claimed world gold for Great Britain in 2017 missing through injury or other priorities, Reuben Arthur, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Aikines-Aryeetey were expected to come under severe pressure in the men's race.

Former 100m world champion Yohan Blake anchored home Jamaica, while Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies - who led a South African one-two in the individual event on Monday - also featured in the race.

But England's polished changeovers and a strong second leg from Hughes, running after losing gold to a disqualification in the individual 200m, proved enough.

"I ran like a rabbit," said Aikines-Aryeetey of his anchor leg.

"I knew I had the second-fastest man of all time behind me and the 100m Commonwealth champion behind me."

Just as in the 100m final, Simbine edged out Blake again as South Africa took silver ahead of Jamaica.

Usain Bolt Jamaica tweet
Bolt then also tweeted: "Watching the relay just now made me ask myself a few questions. Anyhow #TeamJamaica all day everyday."

"I'm going to hide from him and hide from my phone," said Blake when asked about former team-mate Usain Bolt's claim he would not be let back into Jamaica without 100m gold.

"We're in a transition period. I don't think we are far away. I stumbled in the 100m and that cost me."

Twenty-year-old Lake, a former double world champion at junior level, earned her first global medal at senior level by clearing 1.93m.

Weightman, who came sixth in last year's world final and won 2014 Commonwealth silver over 1500m, was 17 seconds off her personal best in humid conditions over the longer distance. Scotland's Eilish McColgan was down in sixth in a race won by world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya.

"I fancied a challenge and wanted to test myself, so I decided to come to the Games and run the 5000m. I wanted to do something different," said Weightman.

"After today, I'm going back to competing on the 1500m."

England's relay successes take their tally to five athletics gold medals.

Hosts Australia, while enjoying an advantage of being at the peak of the southern-hemisphere season, have managed 10.


BBC athletics commentator Steve Cram

As a direct historical comparison, without the Para events that have been added at recent Games, it is the worst Commonwealth Games performance of any England team in track and field.

You have to take note of that.

There were some promising performances, but others were let down by small things - Zharnel Hughes getting disqualified for obstructing Jereem Richards in the 200m, for instance.

But equally, considering the different strengths of the various event fields, the medal count sometimes hides things. Katarina Johnson-Thompson won heptathlon gold, but you could argue it was quite a subdued performance.

Scotland have done pretty well. There were some disappointments - Lynsey Sharp would have expected to at least make the women's 800m final.

The Welsh contingent are delighted, they had some unexpected moments of delight such as Melissa Courtney taking 1500m bronze, just as Northern Ireland did with Leon Reid's third in the 200m.

It was always going to difficult for all the home nations coming to the other side of the world in the early part of the northern hemisphere.

Then, you add to that they have come up against a pretty inspired Australia team.

I don't think it is something to get too stressed about.

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