Commonwealth GamesSport

Sprint relay medallists hope others will follow their lead

Track stars Imani-Lara Lansiquot and Daryll Neita said team silver in the women’s 4x100m should send out a message to young athletes everywhere that anything is possible.

The South London pair played their part in earning a podium place behind Nigeria, but ahead of a much-fancied Jamaica side. For Neita, it was her second silver of the Commonwealth Games.

“To bring that home to South London will mean everything and really inspire people to know that you can be from there as well,” said Camberwell’s Neita, who ran the anchor leg.

“I’m no different to anybody else that’s been born in Kings College Hospital. I was born there, okay, and I’ve been able to compete on such a big stage and compete against the women’s fastest athlete of all time.

“I’m doing great and anyone can. This isn’t just a me thing. If you work hard enough, you can achieve it too.”

Peckham runner Lansiquot, who ran the second leg for Team England, said: “Let this be a message and a lesson that anything’s possible, anything is achievable. I can do it and I’m not special.

“I didn’t come from anything special, I’m just me and I’m out here on one of the biggest stages in the world representing my country and that is a sign that that can happen to anybody.”

England ran a tight race and although champions Nigeria had opened up a big lead for the anchor leg, for a moment reeling in the vivid green vests seemed possible as Neita turned on the afterburners and ate up the yards after taking the baton from Bianca Williams. But it proved a bridge too far.

“I don’t feel like I made up much gap, I don’t think I made much difference,” said Neita afterwards. “She was quite far ahead so I gave it my best but I’m really not sure how my leg was, I hope it was okay.”

“I think I put in a really strong leg,” said Lansiquot, “a really solid leg. I had Jamaica outside of me and I knew that that was going to be one of the really strong teams. I just ran as hard as I could and I think I did a good job.

“Together, the chemistry that we have is pretty much undeniable and unbeatable,” she added of her teammates, including Asha Philip, won ran the first leg. “The crowd elevated that chemistry to another stratosphere.”

England claimed silver with a time of 42.41 seconds, 0.1 seconds behind Nigeria, and a Jamaica team featuring Olympic 100m champion Elaine Thompson Herah took bronze, with 4.08.

“Of course we wanted the gold today but we can’t be disappointed,” said Lansiquot. “To bring home, I think, one of the last medals of what is our biggest medal haul ever, we’re part of history and to do it at home is amazing.

“The crowd was electric; like nothing I’ve ever experienced in sport. Honestly, it could bring me to tears.”

Pictured top: Lansiquot celebrates at the finish (Picture: Max Hall)

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