One week ago it been Justin Gatlin, public enemy No 1, who had ripped up the script in villainous fashion. This time round, though, it was the turn of the hosts to flip the sporting narrative on its head as Great Britain stormed to victory in the men’s 4x100m relay final here at the London edition of the World Athletics Championships.
It was a result few predicted and one that overshadowed Usain Bolt’s final track appearance, which ended in agony after the Jamaican pulled up with cramp on the final straight at the London Stadium.
But while the image of the eight-time Olympian collapsed on the track nursing his leg, long after the race had finished, made for an unwelcome and unwanted sight, it was a night to remember for Great Britain’s golden quartet.
Usain Bolt crashed out of his final appearance as injury struck him down in the 4x100m men’s relay (Getty)
Danny Talbot, Adam Gemili, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and CJ Ujah ran a collective time of 37.47 seconds to beat favourites USA to first place and claim gold – their first since Athens 2004.
The Americans were forced to settle for silver in 37.52secs while Japan claimed bronze.
“This crowd was amazing – this is the most fantastic feeling,” Ujah said afterwards.
“We said we knew we could do it, but when we did it, we did it with a bang. I’m proud of these guys, we work so hard, including the team behind us at British Athletics, and it’s just crazy to do it in London, our home-town.”
“This is the best feeling in the world,” said Gemili, overlooked for individual selection for the championships. “Thank you so much to everyone for supporting us. Thanks to the support team at British Athletics and the medical team.”
“We’re world champions, world champions,” Mitchell-Blake added through tears of happiness.
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake crosses the line to clinch gold for GB (Getty)
It was the 23-year-old from London who anchored his team to victory, pipping USA to victory on the finishing line with…