"I’M back in England now after what has been a fantastic Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast - and, like Aimee Wilmott and Paul Drinkhall, I’m bringing gold back to Teesside.

The gold medal I won in the 4x100m relay on Saturday made up for my disappointment in just missing out on the finals of the 200m a couple of days earlier.

And that relay gold represents a successful Commonwealth Games to me - it was exactly what I set my sights on when I made the decision to withdraw from the World Championships in Birmingham in February with an ankle injury.

Mind you, I don’t think any of us expected to win it in the dramatic fashion we did!

We were favourites going into the Games after beating the rest in a warm-up run in Brisbane a fortnight before the big event - but so much happened before the finals to add extra spice to the relay.

We lost one of our quartet when Adam Gemili had to withdraw through injury, making Reuben Arthur a late replacement running the first leg.

I had the disappointment of missing out on the 200m final, but that was nothing compared to my team-mate Zharnel Hughes, who actually won the 200m final but was disqualified for making contact with a fellow runner in the closing stages.

That left us under pressure and with a point to prove, but we were up against a South African team which had just notched a surprise first and second in the 100m final and a Jamaican team featuring the wounded pride of Yohan Blake, who had been strong favourite to win the 100m.

On top of that, we knew both Australia and Nigeria also had it in them to win gold if they ran a great race.

Understandably, they were tense moments before the race began. But Reuben did well to keep us in it in the first leg and in the second and third, Zharnel and myself had runs we could be proud of and when I handed the baton on to Harry Aikines-Aryeetey for the final leg we had a clear lead.

Harry still had the big challenge of holding off Blake and 100m winner Akani Simbine to the finishing line, but he did just that and we were winners in what was an amazing moment for all of us.

I had really thrown myself into the bend to try and give us an advantage and when I handed the baton on, I was so pumped up, I didn’t know whether to watch Harry’s back or look for the big screen to watch it on there.

I’ve seen a picture since then of Harry crossing the line and me in the background with my back to him, arms in the air and looking at the big screen as I see him win!

After that, the four of us just piled onto each and celebrated before going on a lap of honour which had the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. Obviously, all the England fans who had travelled over were cheering but I’ll never forget the generosity of the Australian crowd who applauded us as if we were one of their own. Fantastic!

IT was a whirlwind of interviews at the stadium, in the Athlete’s Village and on the Surfers’ Paradise beach in the couple of days after we won the relay gold.

But it was also a chance for us all to let our hair down a little bit - which included an athletes’ party in the Luv Nightclub in the Village, where we partied with Usain Bolt among others.

Usain was joking about coming out of retirement for the sprint races again after Jamaica’s disappointing showing in the games.

At least I think he was joking!

It was a memorable moment among many memorable moments for so many members of Team England in what was a superbly organised Games.

The Australian public really bought into it and packed the stadiums out every day and the competitors were raving about the quality of the services and provision made for them,

Also, the army of volunteers who made things run so smoothly, each deserve a medal for the effort they put in to make Commonwealth Games 2018 such a success.

For me, it was probably the best organised and most enjoyable finals I’ve been part of and I would put it above the Olympic finals in Rio on my list.

I’M looking forward to being back home and being able to spend time with my wife Dovi, son Richard Jnr and the rest of my family.

Also to thank those, like Totum Sport and many others, who have backed me in pursuit of my sporting goals, not to mention the hundreds of well-wishers in the North-East whose support has meant a lot to me.

It’s a week to just relax and eat and drink what I want and maybe celebrate a little.

Professional athletes spend so much time being ruled by diet and nutrition, sleep and training - all of which are key elements in success - that it is good, every now and then, just to let that go for a while.

Only for a week or so though because the next championships and finals come along soon enough and it’s time to go again - it will be the British Championships in June and the European Championships in August, with a few races in between.

For now, I’d just like to thank everyone who has supported not just me but all the North East competitors in the Commonwealth Games and, further afield, all those in Team England."