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Disappointment for GB relay quartet

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Great Britain’s women finished outside of the medals in fifth place in the 4x400m relay at the Olympic Stadium tonight.

They had a tough lane nine draw and were left chasing shadows as the fast-starting Americans romped to gold ahead of Russia and Jamaica.

And Newham’s Christine Ohuruogu, a silver medallist in the individual 400m, admitted it was hard to take for the British girls.

She said: “We knew it was going to be hard, we were aiming for the top.

“We came here expecting to take something and all gave it the best we could.

“It would have been nice to have come home with a medal, especially for these guys who feel they didn’t do how they wanted in their own events but it wasn’t to be today.”

Woodford Green & Essex Ladies’ Shana Cox produced a gutsy opening leg out in lane nine, as the American quartet set a fearsome pace, before handing the baton over to Lee McConnell for the second leg.

The Scot found herself in sixth place as the stagger unwound and she found it hard to make up any ground before Perri Shakes-Drayton, of Bow, tried to close the widening gap in the second half of the race.

As the field began to spread out, Shakes-Drayton produced a kick in the back straight before handing over to Ohuruogu on the anchor.

But there was too much ground to make up on the leaders, as the United States claimed the Olympic title in some comfort.

Ohuruogu brought the battling Brits – world indoor gold medallists in Istanbul earlier this year – home in fifth place behind Ukraine, but it meant double disappointment for local girl Shakes-Drayton, who had just missed out on making the final in her specialist 400m hurdles event, in which she was seen as a medal contender.

The 23-year-old Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets athlete, who grew up right on the doorstep of the Olympic Park and used to buy music CDs with her step-dad at the Sunday Market which used to be held on the site, had run a personal best only last month in the London Grand Prix.

But Shakes-Drayton finished third in her semi-final and saw two others pip her to the fastest loser’s spots, then sat out the relay heats.

Brought back into the team for tonight’s final, Shakes-Drayton said: “I gave it my all, I knew it was going to be tough.

“It was a shame we didn’t get a medal, we will come back stronger.

“Today I know we would have loved to have got a medal but it didn’t go our way. As a whole we have done well, we did a season’s best so that’s the best we’ve run together. I’ve enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the future.”

American-born Cox added: “The first leg is always important to stay in striking distance.

“Lane nine gave us no focus, I just put us out there for the rest of the team.”

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