Great Britain fall short of medal target despite Dina Asher-Smith success
By PA Media
Last Updated: 06/10/19 10:42pm
Great Britain recorded their lowest medal total at the World Championships since 2005 after late relay drama.
The squad finished with five medals in Doha, including Dina Asher-Smith's historic hat-trick haul; short of the seven-to-nine target.
It looked like being six when Zoey Clark, Emily Diamond, Jodie Williams and Laviai Nielsen were promoted to third in the women's 4x400 metres relay on the final evening after Jamaica were disqualified for apparently lining up for a changeover wrongly.
However, the Jamaican quartet appealed against the decision and won and, although Great Britain then followed with an appeal against Jamaica's reinstatement, they failed and subsequently missed out on a bronze medal.
Asher-Smith won 200m gold, 100m silver and 4x100m relay silver while Katarina Johnson-Thompson took the heptathlon title and the men's 4x100m squad claimed silver at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Despite Asher-Smith and Johnson-Thompson's landmark victories, performance director Neil Black admitted improvement is needed after the lowest total since Helsinki 14 years ago.
He said: "There's a lot to feel really, really good about. But the reality is the medal tally is not [what] we would have wanted and expected.
"It could be better, it should be better. We'll obviously be talking with UK Sport. Our relationship with UK Sport is really positive.
"It's [about] working together, reviewing, planning. What have we learnt, what are we going to do about it, how do we convert the nearlies into medals?"
The 4x400m men of Cameron Chalmers, Toby Harries, Rabah Yousif and Lee Thompson did not finish the final race of the Championships.
Harries failed to hand over the baton to Yousif in the second change with Harries ending up on the floor still holding it.
On Sunday, Jake Wightman came fifth, Josh Kerr finished sixth and Neil Gourley was 11th in the men's 1500m, which was won by Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot in 3 minutes 29.26 seconds.
In the women's long jump final, which was won by Germany's Malaika Mihambo with a leap of 7.30m, Abigail Irozuru came seventh (6.64m) with Shara Proctor 11th on 6.43m.
Cindi Ofili bowed out of the 100m hurdles in the semi-final after coming sixth in 12.95 seconds.
Great Britain's showing is mix of 'great' and 'work in progress'
Sky Sports News reporter Geraint Hughes gives his verdict on the world championships
For Great Britain and Northern Ireland, these World Championships will be viewed with mixed emotions, fulfilled talent and missed opportunity.
Let's start with the optimistic part. Two world-class performers in Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson fulfilled their talents and then some! In becoming the first female GB athlete to win a trio of medals at a World Championships, Asher-Smith will look with confidence to repeat her success at the Olympics in Tokyo next year.
KJT, well the confidence she has taken from her gold could be huge. Always talented, but she had not always got the mental approach spot on. Now that's changed. She not only set a new British heptathlon record, but beat the reigning European, world and Olympic champion Nafi Thiam and was also within touching distance of reaching 7,000 points, a landmark score for any truly great heptathlete. KJT vs Thiam in Tokyo will be immense.
The sprint relays underlined their strengths in depth, both winning silver. The women's 4x400m came fourth with a season-best time. The men's 4x400m needs work, but it's young, raw and surely hungry not to be left out of the GB relay success.
The not-so-good bit is that GB fell short of the medal target of 7-9 set by UK Sport. Five is close, but it's not in the range and elite sport is part funded by the taxpayer so it's scrutinised ruthlessly. Plenty of other sports would happily take funding from the Athletics pot.
So with Tokyo just over nine months away, it's a mix of 'great' and 'work in progress'.
British Athletics will argue with some justification that the team is young, is a new generation who are talented and more are on the cusp of challenging for medals on the global stage than perhaps previous generations. That's some statement given the Olympics are literally around corner.
Inside the team, confidence exudes. They appear happy and relaxed and have those 'star' athletes like Asher-Smith and KJT to look up to and try to emulate.