Past mistakes forgotten as British sprint quartet eye Rio Olympics

HAPPY FEET: Great Britain's James Dasaolu, Adam Gemili, Chijindu Ujah and James Ellington celebrate after winning the Men's 4x100m at the European Athletic Championships in Amsterdam. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.
HAPPY FEET: Great Britain's James Dasaolu, Adam Gemili, Chijindu Ujah and James Ellington celebrate after winning the Men's 4x100m at the European Athletic Championships in Amsterdam. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.
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The men’s 4x100 metres team proclaimed their days of infighting over as they set their sights on Olympic glory after storming to the European title on a night of double relay gold for Great Britain in Amsterdam.

The sprint quartet continued their resurgence ahead of Rio by taking victory at the Olympic Stadium before the women’s 4x400m relay team followed.

There were silver medals too for the women’s 4x100m relay squad and Robbie Grabarz in the high jump, while Elliot Giles in the 800m, Chris Baker in the high jump and the men’s 4x400m relay team all got bronze.

It meant the British team, missing star names like Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill, finished the championships with 16 medals, including five golds, to end the five days of competition third in the medal table.

There was reassuringly no sign of the baton blunders which have plagued the men’s sprint relay team over recent seasons as a strong line-up of James Dasaolu, Adam Gemili, James Ellington and Chijindu Ujah took victory in 38.17 seconds.

The changeovers were safe rather than slick but Ujah on the final leg still had enough of a lead to hold off fast-finishing Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut by 0.21secs.

Britain’s men had been disqualified from the last four global championships, including London 2012, and most recently at last year’s World Championships in Beijing after which team members turned on each other.

Ujah bore the brunt of his team-mates’ criticism in Beijing, but the tensions which spilled over on that occasion now appear to have been settled.

“Everyone’s cool,” Ellington said. “I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason.

“Last year could have either broken us or made us and I think it’s made us.”

The women’s sprint relay team had to be content with silver behind a Dutch team led by poster girl Dafne Schippers following a couple of rusty changeovers.

Asha Philip, Dina Asher-Smith, Bianca Williams and Daryll Neita came home in 42.45s, 0.41 behind the hosts.

The women’s 4x400m relay quartet of Emily Diamond, Anyika Onuora, Eilidh Doyle and Seren Bundy-Davies made a huge statement of intent ahead of the Olympics by running a world-leading 3:25.05 to claim an emphatic victory, winning by almost a second.

The men’s team had been expected to follow suit, but Matthew Hudson-Smith, the British champion on the anchor leg, tied up horribly in the final 50m and was passed by Belgium and Poland yards from the line.