UK Markets close in 5 hrs 22 mins

Asher-Smith and Hughes are back to the track and seeking redemption

·3-min read
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Women's 4 x 100m Relay - Round 1 - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - August 5, 2021. Asha Philip of Britain, Imani Lansiquot of Britain, Dina Asher-Smith of Britain and Daryll Neita of Britain smile after Heat 1 REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Team GB's 4x100m relay team progressed to Friday's final in the quickest qualifying time, breaking the national record.

From James Toney in Tokyo

Redemption song isn't on the playlist here at the Olympic Stadium but it would be a fitting tune as Dina-Asher Smith and Zharnel Hughes returned to the furnace.

Asher-Smith turned up the heat as Tokyo sweltered on the warmest day of the Olympics so far.

After pulling out of the 100m and 200m as she nursed the recovery from a hamstring injury, Asher-Smith helped her team-mates produce a storming British record to make the 4x100m final.

And Zharnel Hughes still smarting from his false start in the men's 100m final, when a medal looked a distinct possibility, guided through the men's quartet too.

World champion Asher-Smith joined forces with Asha Philip, Imani-Lara Lansiquot and Daryll Neita as they powered to a 41.55 second national best, well ahead of key rivals Jamaica and the USA.

And after tough week for Britain's track and field stars - luck and misfortune never seeming far away at Olympic Stadium - Asher-Smith and co looked primed to put a smile back on faces, live on Eurosport and discovery+.

"After the 100m, there was no way I wasn't going to be here with these girls," said Asher-Smith.

"I had one day off and then I was back on the training, I just need a few more weeks, a few more sessions training.

"It's been a crazy five weeks. It would be amazing to end it with a medal but that's not where my head is at, it's about staying focussed. "We're the bronze medallists from Rio and for all our lives and dreams it would be amazing to get another medal but we need to execute and do what needs to be done."

Philip, who was part of the medal quartet five years ago with Asher-Smith and 100m finalist Neita, is also upbeat, And despite carving nearly two tenths off their time in Rio, there looked more to come as they push changeovers to the limit.

"I know a medal is on the cards, I don't want to jinx anything but that's a national record," said Philip.

"It was a good race around and a very nice warm-up for us. We're not getting too excited but we're bringing great energy into the final."

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Hughes, Chijindu Ujah, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake qualified comfortably for the men's sprint relay final with Jamaica again looking the team to beat.

And once again they'll be no medal for the USA - a run that goes back to the 2004 Athens Games after they stuttered around the track to a lacklustre sixth.

"What happened, it’s still difficult for me but at the end of the day I have to move on, I have relay now and that’s what I’m focussing on," said Hughes.

"For me I’m just going out there to stay focussed, hitting the check mark and give my very best on the back straight and hopefully put the guys in the lead. We’re in the finals and I’ll be rolling in the finals."

Elsewhere, Moran Lake qualified to the women's high jump but she won't be joined by team-mate Emily Borthwick.

And Andrew Pozzi came seventh in the men's 110m hurdles final, who by Jamaica's

"Unfortunately I didn’t quite have the race that I wanted," he said. "I’ve worked really hard in order to be here and try be in my best shape, but that’s all I had.

"I arrived in a good place. There’s no excuses unfortunately. I just didn’t have enough and that’s just the way it is."

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, The Streaming Home of the Olympics.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting