Commonwealth GamesSport

Neita secures 100m bronze – but admits it might have been better

By Max Hall

Daryll Neita has spoken about what flashed through her mind after a slow start in last night’s 100m saw her chasing down Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah and the rest of the field.

The Camberwell sprinter produced a stunning performance in her semi-final but could not quite reproduce that explosive run when it came to the race for the medals.

“I didn’t execute my start at all and I was like, ‘oh sugar, I can see everyone’s gone, so don’t panic, stay relaxed and at least get a medal’ because coming here and not medalling would’ve been a disaster,” said the 25-year-old.

With Bromley’s Dina Asher-Smith ruled out by the leg injury suffered at the World Championships in Oregon, the race was being billed as a shoot-out between Neita and Thompson-Herah, but that botched start permitted Saint Lucian Julien Alfred to take silver and meant Neita had to stage a remarkable recovery to finish on the podium.

“I feel like I’ve messed up in the final,” Neita told the South London Press. “I didn’t execute a very good race. My start wasn’t great, I think I had a decent finish to climb back to third because it was a stacked field, there were girls running sub-11 [seconds] in there.”

Referring to race winner Thompson-Herah, from Jamaica, Neita said: “She did great. I’m racing against one of the fastest women of all time – the fastest woman alive, right? So the competition was high but I could have done better in the final.”

Camberwell track star Neita was determined to cling to the positives after her recovery to claim third.

“Yeah, my pick-up is phenomenal but I can’t afford to run 10.90 in a semi and then 11.07 in the final. It’s frustrating because I was definitely capable of winning this today and I really let myself down.

“One thing about me is I’m able to turn every single negative into a positive. That’s how I am. If I didn’t have that ability, I wouldn’t be here today because I’ve been through a lot of stuff in my life. I just use it as fuel for the next thing, whatever it is, stay as positive as I can.

“To be on the podium makes me happy, it really does. It could’ve been worse. I could’ve not been on the podium at all. That would’ve sucked.”

Peckham’s Imani-Lara Lansiquot experienced the cruellest of cuts as she missed out on qualification for the women’s 100m final by the thinnest of margins.

The sprinter placed third in her heat with a time of 11.18 seconds only to see a stacked heat three edge her out as Tynia Gaither, of the Bahamas, and Jamaican Natalliah Whyte ran 11.17 to place third and fourth in their qualifier.

Pictured top: Daryll Neita with gold medal winner Elaine Thompson-Herah after the 100m final (Picture: Team England)

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