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

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

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

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

Jona Efoloko, Zharnel Hughes, Mitchell-Blake and Reece Prescod finished behind Canada and the USA 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 be stripped of their medal following Ujah’s positive drugs test.

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

“There are no demons, we’re all blessed. We get a medal every year, it’s becoming normalised and under appreciated.

“I feel relay medals are brushed under the rug due to our consistency on the men’s and women’s teams. When the medal tables come out there are always relay medals and we step up every year.

“We all stepped up and we have shown over the years our quality consistently now. Everyone has shown they are capable of stepping in.

“Ultimately the aim is to come away from the next world champs with a gold and go onto Paris. It is a stepping stone, we will get better and we have got to raise our game going forward.

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

Prescod ran just his second senior relay, after his debut in the heats, with Efoloko also drafted into the team for the first time.

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

World Athletics Championships Oregon22 – Day Nine – Eugene
The relay squad claimed 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 what appeared to be a hamstring problem as she approached the final changeover with Daryll Neita .

Earlier, Jess Judd and Eilish McColgan finished 13th and 11th respectively in the 5,000m final, which was won by Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay.

The women’s 4x400m relay squad of Ama Pipi, Laviai Nielsen, Victoria Ohuruogu and Nicole Yeargin reached Sunday’s final by finishing second behind the USA in three minutes 23.92 seconds.

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

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

The British pair both posted 6.68m to finish in the top 12 of qualifying, despite not hitting the automatic mark of 6.75m.

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

World Athletics Championships Oregon22 – Day Nine – Eugene
Great Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers reached the world final. (Martin Rickett/PA)

They will now compete in Sunday’s final, the last day of competition in America.

Sawyers said: “I’m happy – the job in qualifying is to make it to the final. There’s definitely some technical things I can do better, but that’s my first world final at my third try so I’m really happy.

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