European Athletics Championships: GB win three relay gold medals on record day
Last Updated: 17/08/14 6:15pm
Britain’s relay teams won a total of three gold medals on a record-breaking day for the country at the European Athletics Championships.
British teams crossed the line first in the men’s 4x400 metres and men’s and women’s 4x100m at the Stadion Letzingrud.
A day which saw Britain pass their previous best marks for most gold medals and most medals overall at a European Championships began with Martyn Rooney anchoring them to victory in the 4x400m.
Conrad Williams, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Michael Bingham and Rooney were charged with bringing the baton home and did not disappoint in the Zurich sunshine.
Taking the confidence brought by Friday's individual gold medal - his first at a major championship - Rooney powered past the Russian team on the final leg, crossing in a Europe-leading 2 minutes 58.79 seconds.
That was followed by Adam Gemili leading the men's 4x100 metres team to glory after being set up by James Ellington, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Richard Kilty on the first three legs.
Avoiding the baton errors that have so often proved problematic in the past, they did not look in danger despite being without 100m champion James Dasaolu and fellow sub-10 sprinter Chijindu Ujah.
Gemili, gold medallist in the 200m, brought the team home in a Europe-leading 37.93s.
But the best was arguably saved until last as the women secured the crown as well after running a new British record of 42.24s.
The old national mark had stood for 34 years but the quartet of Asha Phillip, Ashleigh Nelson, Jodie Williams and Desiree Henry took almost two tenths of it after leading from the front for the whole race.
The women's 4x400 metres quartet of Eilidh Child, Kelly Massey, Shana Cox and Margaret Adeoye came home third in their final which was won by France.