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Chris Tomlinson

 

01 August 2010

For results visit the Sportsresult website

On the final night of action at the Olympic Stadium, the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team delivered a further three medals to take the final count to 19 for the championships – the best ever performance by a Great Britain athletics team.

With the haul comprising six golds, seven silvers and six bronzes, tonights additional three in the shape of a silver for the men’s 4x400m relay team and bronze in the men’s long jump and women’s 4x400m relay made sure the championship would be regarded with legendary status in athletics for some time.

And in true fashion the team members competed with heart throughout the evening, leaving nothing on the track and ensuring their best performance was on offer.

Report:

The last race of the championhips was the 4x400m – and with it came drama galore. The GB team of Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), Michael Bingham (Ken Harnden), Rob Tobin (Todd Bennett), and Martyn Rooney (Nick Dakin) as world silver medalists would have been disappointed with the silver that they claimed from this race – yet in light of the aggressive sequence of events, it was almost a minor miracle they found their way back to the podium.

With Williams delivering a solid first leg, it then was left for Bingham to take the tough second leg covering the lane breaks, and the individual silver medal winner found himself cut up badly and struggling back in fifth position through the 200m mark.

With his handover to Tobin already dictated to be one wide of the inner line, he put all his efforts into the final 100m in an attempt to get Tobin away on some clearer track, and the strong, silent man from Hampshire did not disappoint, working hard to bring GB back in reach of the top positions.

Handing over to Rooney – a stalwart for the final leg sprint in – the supporters could only hold their breath, knowing that with a fairly condensed field as it was, the medals could go in any one of five directions.

Rooney battled for all he was worth in the home straight and, in going wide, passed everyone with the exception of the Russian fourth leg runner Vladmnir Krasnow – bringing the team home in silver medal position.

After – Tobin said: “We came here and ran really well but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the gold so we were a little bit disappointed.

“ I just couldn’t get into lane one, I ran the whole way in two which isn’t ideal. We are disappointed because we came here to win gold but we couldn’t quite do enough today.”

“I really thought I was going to catch the Russian  I should have – I’m really disappointed that I didn’t,” said Rooney.

“I don’t think the split was that quick, the race was quite physical – relays are never a run in the park - but that one was especially physical… but I enjoyed it!

“Everybody talks about the glory years in athletics – hopefully they can put that to bed now – we had 19 medals here and that’s very strong!”

 In the women’s event, although somewhat depleted for athletes in the individual event, the GB team looked to have a serious appetite for medals going in to the final – and the trio did not disappoint.

Nicola Sanders (Tony Lester), Lee McConnell (Rodger Harkins), Marilyn Okoro (Ayo Falola), Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah), ran out of their skins to bring home a bronze medal for the Aviva GB & NI team. With Sanders’ trademark strong opening leg, Okoro providing the muscle at the break of lanes on leg two, and McConnell providing the graceful speed to create a gap ahead of fourth place, it looked like all Shakes-Drayton had to do was take the baton round safely and calmly.

Yet the 400m hurdles bronze medallist clearly had other ideas, closing the gap on second placed Germany and only just missing out on on pipping them for silver.

But bronze was a delightful reward for the team who have focused their own individual event frustrations on gaining a reward from these championships and becoming part of the GB medal-wagon that has trundled on relentlessly this week.

Nicola Sanders summed up their motivation with her own experience during 2010:

"Brilliant, that feels brilliant! Especially for me after such a tough year to come away with a medal. I just want to get up on the podium it looks wicked up there.”

Likewise, Okoro was as delighted – her injury filled year brushed aside with a superb relay prize:

“I'm ecstatic to come away with a bronze medal, it's been a hard year and we fought for it so hard so I'm really happy."

Finally, Shakes-Drayton summarized both her own experience and perhaps a reelection on some of the GB medal winning moments from the week in the sun:

"I was trying my hardest to get that silver! That was good, I enjoyed it, but we were waiting for so long I just wanted to get out on the track,” she explained.

"I've had a great championships, no-one expected me to medal and I got a medal and in the relay I really wanted a medal and we got it!"

In the men’s long jump final Chris Tomlinson (Frank Attoh) had been looking to recapture the form that had seen him take World Indoor silver in 2008 and demonstrate once again how he had become the man to break the longstanding British long jump record back in 2002.

Having qualified strongly for the final on the ‘Fantastic Friday’ night, hopes were high that he could once again produce that form. And with his first leap of the competition, flew out to 8.18m to take an early second place. With second and third round attempts of 7.97m and 8.05m to his credit, by the halfway point he still held the second spot and it started to look as though maybe, just maybe, the fortunes were beginning to turn for the likeable Middlesbrough man.

With the lead changing hands to Germany’s Christian Reif in the third round with his superb 8.47m, Tomlinson dropped to third, but with his next jump – an 8.23m effort, moved back up to silver with just two rounds left.

He never improved on that mark, and with Frenchman Kafetien Gomis striking for silver with an 8.24m leap in the last round, it was a nervous few moments for Tomlinson. Yet the competition came to a close, and the Newham & Essex Beagle could take great comfort in winning his first outdoor major championship medal.

It was alright - I jumped some of the best jumps of my life, but that one massive jump never came,” he said.

“I've got to look at that and say that's some of the best jumping I've ever produced. It's my first outdoor bronze medal to go with my World indoor silver.

“I know there's a lot more there - but for now I have to enjoy it.”

In the women’s 1500m the GB trio of Lisa Dobriskey (George Gandy), Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) and Steph Twell (Mick Woods) went in the final with expectation that a further medal might come the GB team’s way, yet with the final lap burn up came the almost obligatory messy middle distance final 200m where vying for position around the top bend dictated the medal order.

On the sprint in, Dobriskey, who had been well positioned throughout was just off the pace and although she battled strongly, could not impact on the medals, finishing a frustrated fourth place with 4:01.54.

Understandably the World silver medallist was gutted not to have added to her prize collection:

“ I went in with the attitude today that it was gold or nothing really. I went in and raced a little bit more aggressively really and made my move a little bit earlier and consequently I wasn’t as strong as I would normally be in the finishing straight,” she explained tearfully.

“It was good to try so I learnt a lot but I can put my hand on my heart and say that I didn’t have any more in the final few metres of the race. I have come in for quite a lot of criticism where I’ve finished too strong and for having too much left in the final stages before. “

“All in all I’m disappointed but I couldn’t have done any more today.”

On a slightly happier note, Steph Twell found space and strength in the final few metres and crossed the line in seventh with a superb new PB of 4:02.70, marking further progress for the former world junior champion.

In tenth, Hannah England finished on 4:05:07, a sure sign of the quality field and pace that she would be so far back in the placings, but a solid championship campaign nevertheless.

It was alright,” she said. “I think I gave it my best shot. I thought I had connected and got in a good place but I just ran out of legs really.

“Hopefully I'll get a bit more fitness behind me.”

The roll of hour from this week’s action is as follows:

 

Mo Farah  10,000m               Gold

Mo Farah   5,000m                Gold

Phillips Idowu    Triple Jump         Gold

Andy Turner    110m Hurdles    Gold

Dai Greene     400m Hurdles    Gold

Jessica Ennis   Heptathlon         Gold

 

Chris Thompson     10,000m     Silver

Mark Lewis Francis 100m         Silver

Christian Malcolm 200m           Silver

Michael Bingham 400m            Silver

Michael Rimmer    800m          Silver

Rhys Williams    400m Hurdles    Silver

Men’s 4x400m   Relay                     Silver

 

Martyn Bernard    High Jump           Bronze

Martyn Rooney   400m                     Bronze

Perri Shakes Drayton      400m Hurdles    Bronze

Jenny Meadows     800m                     Bronze

Chris Tomlinson  Long Jump          Bronze

Women’s 4x400m  Relay                     Bronze