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UK Athletics’ verdict on World Championships

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UK Athletics Chairman Ed Warner and Performance Director Dave Collins today gave their verdicts on how the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team performed at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka.

 

Warner said: “These Championships witnessed spirited performances from British athletes and, as at the European Indoors in Birmingham, demonstrated that British athletics is making clear progress towards Beijing and beyond that London 2012.”

 

Collins said: “I am delighted with the performance of the team, not just in exceeding medal targets, but also in the number of personal and season's bests achieved. We went out there asking athletes to step up and exceed anything they had done previously and the majority did that.

 

“Whilst I am pleased, we can't get too carried away and need to look at how we continue this progress now towards Beijing. There were of course some disappointments and we need to work on what went wrong for some and consider what we can improve.”

 

The team, two-thirds of whom are under 25, returned home with five medals –

  • Christine Ohuruogu (Newham and Essex Beagles) won 400m gold

  • Nicola Sanders (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC) took 400m silver

  • and there were bronze medals for heptathlete Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers), the men’s 4x100m quartet of Christian Malcolm (Cardiff AAC), Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes AC), Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva Harriers) and Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield Harriers) plus the women’s 4x400m squad of Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro, Lee McConnell (both Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers), Donna Fraser (Croydon Harriers) and Nicola Sanders

 

Ohuruogu, Okoro, McConnell and Sanders lowered the national 4x400m record to 3:20.04 in the final to climax a week in which there were 18 personal best performances and 17 season’s bests by Norwich Union GB&NI athletes.

 

Of the 47 athletes in action in Osaka, 17 (with an average age of 24) reached finals and another 12 got into semi-finals.

 

For news and pictures from the World Championships click here.