The action in Budapest reached a roaring climax on Sunday with the GB team producing their best overall medal haul for 30 years
Not since Stuttgart in 1993 has a British team won 10 medals at the World Championships. Back then Sally Gunnell, Colin Jackson and Linford Christie were among a golden generation who climbed on to the podium with a Union flag draped around their shoulders. Now, 30 years later, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Josh Kerr, Matt Hudson-Smith, Keely Hodgkinson, Zharnel Hughes and Ben Pattison are among a class of 2023 who have created their own magnificent slice of British athletics history.
With two golds – from Johnson-Thompson and Kerr – four silvers and three bronzes, the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team finished these 2023 championships in seventh place on the medals table behind the United States, Canada, Spain, Jamaica, Kenya and Ethiopia.
More impressively, though, the GB team finished fourth on the placings table – where points are awarded for the top eight positions – with 102 points behind the United States (277), Jamaica (139) and Kenya (112).
This is courtesy of 21 top eight places during nine days in the National Athletics Centre in the sweltering city of Budapest this month.
Two of these medals came in the final events of the championships – the 4x400m relays – on Sunday (Aug 27) with the GB quartets earning a hard-fought bronze on each occasion.
The women’s race produced one of the races of the championships as Femke Bol unleashed an inspired anchor to snatch a brilliant last-gasp victory for the Netherlands ahead of Jamaica and Britain.
Laviai Nielsen, Amber Anning and Ama Pipi ran terrific opening legs for the GB team to put the squad in medal contention as Nicole Yeargin took the baton for the final lap. Running with poise and confidence, Yeargin was in second place for much of the last circuit in pursuit of Jamaican Stacey Ann Williams.
Yet Bol was ominously not far behind and making up ground. The Dutch athlete had started the championships with a dramatic fall in the final metres of the mixed relay but then won the 400m hurdles title in style.
With 100m to go here she looked like she might pull past Yeargin for silver, but as Williams began to struggle Bol realised she could go one further and she surged into first place.
It was one of the most dramatic finishes of a week in Budapest that was full of thrilling athletics. Bol’s…