BASC Athlete of the Year 2017

The British women's and men's 4x400m relay teams added a silver and bronze medal respectively to Britain's 2017 World Championships tally. The women's team - Zoey Clark, Laviai Nielson, Eilidh Doyle and Emily Diamond - had shown in the heats that they had the ability to win a medal, and they did not disappoint. With Jamaica pulling up with an injury, a silver was very much in the cards. The team ran 3:25.00 in second behind a USA world leading time in gold position.

The men's performance in the heat - coming through as fastest losers - cast some doubt on whether they were in condition to medal. The addition of Matt Hudson-Smith to the team improved their chances. With Dwayne Cowan, Rabah Yousif Bkheit and Martyn Rooney, the team took bronze in 2:59.00, and at one stage they appeared to be gaining on Trinidad and Tobago, who pipped USA to the gold, around the top bend.

Robbie Grabarz has often been there or thereabouts, having won bronze in the London Olympics and come 4th in Rio. His failures at 2.29m were close to clearances, but he ended the competition in 6th place. Mutaz Essa Barshim won gold with a 2.35m clearance and goes to the next championships in the city where he was born as world chamption.

Britain's hopes in the women's 800m and 5000m and men's 1500m all fell by the wayside in very quick finals won by Semenya, Obiri and Manangoi respectively. Lynsey Sharp and Chris O'Hare finished at the rear of the field in their middle distance finals.

In the 5000m, Obiri and 10,000m champion Ayana took off from the front of the field, and the rest of the field split in two. Laura Muir helped to bring the third group into contact with the second group, but the field broke up again, with Laura finishing an impressive 6th - after very little experience of 5000m at this level - and Eilish McColgan 10th.

The race walks festival was held on The Mall with sizeable crowds. Britain's best hope of success, Tom Bosworth, led for much of the first half of the 20km event. He was distraught when disqualified just after half-way. Dom King met a similar fate in the 50km event. Callum Wilkinson came in 41st in the 20km, and in the women's event, Bethan Davies finished 29th and Gemma Bridge 40th. While British supporters were disappointed, they recognise that British race walking is on the up, with great potential for this young team.

 

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