Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake urges GB to look ahead after relay bronze


Skipper Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake insists it’s time to look to the future after Britain’s bronze medal in the relay.

The 28-year-old helped the men’s 4x100m relay team to third place at the World Championships on Saturday.

Jona Efoloko, Zharnel Hughes, Mitchell-Blake and Reece Prescod finished behind Canada and the United States in 37.83 seconds in Eugene.

A new team helped banish some of the pain from last year’s Olympics when Hughes, Mitchell-Blake, Richard Kilty and CJ Ujah won silver, only to have their medals stripped following doping test Ujah positive.

Mitchell-Blake said, “It’s fuel for the fire going forward. We can’t control the past, we can control the present and ultimately that dictates the future and that’s what we need to focus on.

“There are no demons, we are all blessed. We get a medal every year, it normalizes and is underestimated.

“I feel like the relay medals go under the rug because of our consistency on both the men’s and women’s teams. When the medal tables come out, there are always relay medals and we are increasing every year.

“We have all stepped up and we have shown our quality consistently over the years now. Everyone showed that he was capable of intervening.

“At the end of the day, the goal is to come out of the next world championships with a gold medal and go to Paris. It’s a stepping stone, we’re going to improve and we have to improve our game in the future. .

“We’re going to enjoy this moment together, appreciate the fact that we got a medal and refocus after that on the rest of the season.”

Prescod rode only his second senior stint, following his heats debut, with Efoloko also drafted into the team for the first time.

“I was asked to do a job for the team. It was my first stint and I wanted to deliver for the team. I’m glad they trusted me and I was happy to be part of it. It’s a whole new cycle now,” Prescod said.

The relay team won bronze at Hayward Field. (Martin Rickett/PA)

It came after the women finished sixth following an injury to Dina Asher-Smith at Hayward Field. The 26-year-old suffered from what appeared to be a hamstring issue heading into the final switch with Daryll Neita.

Earlier, Jess Judd and Eilish McColgan finished 13th and 11th respectively in the 5,000m final, won by Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay.

The women’s 4x400m relay team of Ama Pipi, Laviai Nielsen, Victoria Ohuruogu and Nicole Yeargin reached Sunday’s final finishing second to the United States in three minutes 23.92 seconds.

“We have such strength in the UK. I think we have eight girls under 52 seconds, so we came and represent our strongest team. I’m really proud to be part of this team,” Nielsen said.

Earlier, Lorraine Ugen and Jazmin Sawyers reached the long jump final.

The British duo both posted 6.68m to finish in the top 12 in qualifying, although they did not reach the automatic mark of 6.75m.

Sawyers, who finished eighth at the Tokyo Olympics last year, recorded a season best with Ugen finishing fifth in Group A on Saturday morning in Eugene.

Oregon22 World Championships in Athletics - Day 9 - Eugene

Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers reached the world final. (Martin Rickett/AP)

They will now play the final on Sunday, the last day of competition in America.

Sawyers said: “I’m happy – the work in qualifying is to get to the final. There are definitely technical things I can do better, but it’s my first world final on my third try so I’m really happy.

Cindy Sember qualified for Sunday’s 100m hurdles semi-final after running 12.67 seconds in her heat.