Britain drop baton in 4x100m final
Posted by Sportsbeat/TonyMabert
Christian Malcolm took full responsibility as Great Britain's sprinters again fluffed their lines at the European Championships in Helsinki.
One day after the women failed to make their 4x100m final, ruling them out of the Olympics, the men dropped the baton in what is becoming a depressingly familiar story for Britain.
Malcolm got off to flying start but so did Dwain Chambers, so fast that he'd started well before the first-leg runner could complete the changeover, leaving James Ellington and Mark Lewis Francis stranded down the track and looking back in disbelief.
Malcolm, who is set to be named in his fourth Olympic team, held his hands up for the error, although he claimed the tight bends in Helsinki did help.
"We win and lose as a team but I will take responsibility for what happened," he said.
"I got thrown a bit coming round the turn and lost momentum, it’s my job to try and get the job over to Dwain and I could not quite get it in.
"This is gutting, it was a great opportunity for us to stake a place for the team at the Olympics and we were up for it.
"We all felt we definitely could have won that race, we were really up for it, all the guys wanted to put it down and it just didn’t happen.
"It’s nothing to do with lack of practice, it’s just one of those things. Everyone’s been having problems with the corners at these championships."
Great Britain's sprint relay record at major championships does not make for happy reading.
At last year's worlds they dropped the baton in the final, while one year earlier, at the last Europeans, they didn't even get that far.
They did win world bronze in Berlin three years ago, making amends for another baton fumble at the Beijing Olympics.
It's clear with less speed than their rivals, they are pushing changeovers to the limit but it's a win or bust strategy that produces red faces more often than medals.
"It’s disappointing, the conditions were perfect and we had great preparation but the cards that we were dealt were just not great cards," added Chambers.
"As much as Christian wants to take the blame we are all a team here, we as a team are to blame - if one falls we all fall. We will bounce back though."
In the women’s 4x100m final reigning champions and favourites Ukraine dropped the baton as Germany took the gold.