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Ohuruogu back with a bang
7:40pm Sunday 11th March 2012 in Athletics News
CHRISTINE Ohuruogu announced she's back with a bang at the World Indoor Championships with a breath-taking third leg to hand Great Britain 4x400m relay gold in a record-breaking medal haul in Istanbul.
The current Olympic champion, who has been out of sorts ever since her Beijing 2008 gold, picked up the baton after Shara Cox and Nicola Saunders had reached third place but she roared into the lead before handing over to Perri Shakes-Drayton, who kept Sanya Ricards-Ross of the USA at bay in a thrilling dip finish.
And it nearly got even better for Great Britain as the men's 4x400m quartet of Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham and Richard Buck crossed the line in second place behind the USA, only to be bumped up to gold following an appeal against the Americans before a counter-appeal returned the status quo.
Regardless, Great Britain's Aviva backed team laid down a marker for London 2012 with their most successful championships ever, claiming nine medals to finish second on the medal table behind the dominant USA.
"It's the best team performance of all-time so we've every reason to travel home happy," said Charles van Commenee, the head coach of the Aviva GB&NI team.
And it was Ohuruogu's performance that stood out on a final day that also saw Andrew Osagie and Shara Proctor secure bronze in the 800m and long jump respectively while rising star Holly Bleasdale finished third in the pole vault.
"I have been working very, very hard and it is nice to come out with the performance and the result," said Ohuruogu.
"I feel in great shape and it's great to be back running well again. I just gave it everything, it's better to leave everything out on the track or I wouldn't forget about it in training."
But there was one blot on Great Britain's copybook - that of world 5000m champion Mo Farah settling for fourth place in the 3000m and departing Istanbul empty-handed.
Confusion reigned again in the Atakoy Athletics Arena as Farah was temporarily bumped up to third after a successful appeal against bronze medallist Edwin Cheruiyot Soi, only for the Kenyan team to succeed with their counter-protest.
IAAF official rules stated that there could be no further appeals but Farah was more disappointed with his performance, clocking 7:41.79 minutes - finishing 0.01 behind Soi and 0.02 silver.
"I just let the referees decide what happens with those kind of things, that's what they are there for," said Farah. "Personally I did feel like I was bumped but it's not for me to say what should happen, I'm just disappointed with the way I raced."
Aviva has been backing the GB & NI Team since 1999. Now it's your turn. #BackTheTeam