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Relay Disaster Ends Devonish Dream

Marlon Devonish’s Olympics have ended in misery after a calamity in the 4x100m but Katharine Merry and her colleagues are through to their final.

Marlon DevonishThe men’s sprint squad was hotly tipped to take the United States to the wire in the final of the relay, but it all ended on the first bend of the opening round.

A disastrous handover between Allyn Condon and Jason Gardener put Great Britain behind the rest of the field.

Despite racing against sprint giants like Ivory Coast, Guatemala and India, the British couldn’t catch up.

By the time Devonish got the baton to anchor man Dwain Chambers, the British were well behind.

Impatient, Chambers tried to get going before he had the baton and he had to come to a stop before the Coventry Godiva Harriers star could give it to him.

Britain trailed in eighth, and then suffered the ignominy of being disqualified because the first change had left the permitted area.

UK Athletics Performance Director Max Jones said:

"They are absolutely devastated. It could have been the icing on the cake.

"We've had a great games so far and the 4x100m was one of our medal bankers really.

"But you've got to get through the rounds to get in the final and have a chance of a medal and unfortunately we didn't make it.

"We tried to make it safety first, which the Americans did and did it splendidly. But obviously it didn't work."

A disgusted Dwain Chambers said:

"What can I say, it's all over. I came here hoping to pick up a medal because I did not get one in the 100m and I am a bit gutted.

"I don't know what happened. I knew from the first change over that we had blown it. I knew from then, forget it."

He added of the changeover with Devonish:

"I had to stop and go back. Marlon could not catch me, what else can I say?"

Katharine MerryRugby athlete Katharine Merry enjoyed more success with the women’s 4x400m team in what is becoming amore successful time on the track for the ladies.

They made it through to tomorrow’s final after finishing in 3:25:28.

The United States are the favourites, with Jamaica, Australia and Nigeria among the other strong medal contenders.
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CWN / Sport / Athletics / 29 Sep 00
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