Farah wins double; Relay glory

  • Last Updated: August 17 2014, 18:03 BST

Adam Gemili led the men's 4x100 metres team to glory on the final day of the European Championships, securing the British team a record gold medal haul.

  • Adam Gemili, Richard Kilty, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Ellington celebrate victory
  • Mo Farah celebrates after winning gold in the men's 5000m 
  • Matthew Hudson-Smith, Martyn Rooney, Michael Bingham and Conrad Williams celebrate gold 
  • The women's 4x400m team won a bronze medal 

This has been a wonderful week in Zurich for Great Britain, who came into this race already guaranteed to be returning home with more medals than their previous best of 19 in Barcelona four years ago.

Now, though, they have also overtaken the record of nine gold medals set in Budapest in 1998 thanks to a wonderful performance by the 100m relay team.

Having already seen Mo Farah and the men's 4x400m team triumph on the final day, the quartet of James Ellington, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty and Gemili followed suit at the Stadion Letzingrud.

Avoiding the baton errors that have so often proved problematic in the past, they did not look in danger despite being without 100m champion James Dasaolu and fellow sub-10 sprinter Chijindu Ujah.

Gemili, gold medallist in the 200m, brought the team home in a European-leading 37.93 seconds, coming close to the previous record of 37.73secs which has stood since the 1999 World Championships.

The women's quartet also clinched a thrilling gold medal - more on that to follow shortly.

While the relay runners were doing their thing, Farah was celebrating adding the 5000m title to his 10,000m one.

"It was amazing to have my family here and to have my kids on the track with me, kissing me and saying 'daddy won'," Farah said.

"It's the first time my young twins have properly watched me race so it's great. History's very important to me and I always hope to make my country proud.

"There's been some down times but two golds here is great and now I hope to get ready to face the big guys next year at the IAAF World Championships.

"What I've achieved over the years means that the rest of the field let me do my thing. The race went well, I went to the front so it was good. My distance double's great for my country and thanks to everyone's support over the years."

British team-mate Vernon had hoped to dash Farah's long-distance double, but could only add bronze to his 10,000m silver.

"I feel I almost missed out in the 10,000m when I got silver, so I came into this thinking I won't let that happen again," he told the BBC.

"I had a plan to win the gold but it got to the last 800m and the wheels slowly started to come off. I was surprised I held on for bronze in the end.

"But to get two medals is brilliant. I wish one of them could have been gold but when you are racing against the best you have to accept a silver and a bronze is good."

Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist Greg Rutherford can now add European long jump champion to his impressive list of honours as well.

Two years on from the high of his London triumph on 'Super Saturday', the 27-year-old has enjoyed quite a time of late.

Earlier this year Rutherford revealed that his girlfriend Susie Verrill is expecting their first child in the same week he was named British record holder, having jumped 8.51 metres in Chula Vista, San Diego in April.

He overcame injury to triumph at Hampden Park a fortnight ago and secured his place at the top of the long jump podium in Zurich with an impressive leap of 8.29m - 14 centimetres ahead of nearest rival Louis Tsatoumas of Greece.

Given some have suggested Rutherford was lucky to win the Olympics with an 8.31m jump, he was particularly pleased to quieten such naysayers with another gold medal.

"I'm the biggest fluke going," he said with a smile. "I keep doing this. It's fantastic.

"It's great to go out there and put out a couple of half decent jumps and have another title. I only took four today.

"I had the luxury of four rounds and leaving it. I had a slight tightening after the fourth and thought I'd wait and see if someone could jump further."

Rutherford was one of three Brits in the long jump final, with JJ Jegede finishing ninth with a best of 7.88m and Chris Tomlinson ending 11th after a 7.75m effort.

Earlier Martyn Rooney anchored Great Britain's 4x400 metres relay team to gold as the favourites fulfilled their potential in breaking the three-minute barrier.

Having seen their female compatriots win bronze and Chris O'Hare finish third in the 1500m earlier in the afternoon, the British quartet ensured they would top the podium at the Stadion Letzigrund.

Conrad Williams, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Michael Bingham and Rooney were charged with bringing the baton home and did not disappoint in the Zurich sunshine.

Williams - one of the three in action to have featured in the triumphant England team at the Commonwealth Games - produced a sturdy first leg, handing the baton over to Hudson-Smith at the front of the pack.

The teenager, fresh from winning individual silver on Friday, followed it with a strong leg which was matched by Bingham, who handed over to anchorman Rooney in second place.

Taking the confidence brought by Friday's gold medal - his first at a major championship - the 27-year-old powered past the Russians, crossing in a Europe-leading two minutes 58.79 seconds.

The women's 4x400m earlier won a bronze medal.

As expected, individual world champion Christine Ohuruogu was left out in preference of the less experienced members of the team and they did not disappoint.

Eilidh Child, fresh from winning 400m hurdles gold on Saturday, handed the baton over in the lead after the first leg, with Kelly Massey not fretting when she dropped down the pack as Shana Cox also got the baton in first place.

Margaret Adeoye ran a fine last leg but was unable to sneak a top-two place, with France edging Ukraine to the line in a European-leading time of 3:24.27.

Chris O'Hare had Great Britain off to a medal-winning start on the final day, taking 1,500m bronze in a race which Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad made up for the heartache of losing his steeplechase crown earlier in the week.

The controversial 29-year-old made headlines across the world on Thursday evening after bizarrely choosing to remove his top as he entered the home straight, sticking it in his mouth and waving to the crowd.

Mekhissi-Benabbad easily won the 3,000m steeplechase but, after an initial yellow card for show-boating, had the title stripped after Spain launched an appeal citing rules on clothing, shoes and bibs.

The Frenchman looked noticeably downbeat and run-down as he qualified from the 1,500m semi-finals, but was back to his normal, extrovert self in Sunday's final.

Making his move with 400m to go, Mekhissi-Benabbad raced to the line, beating his chest down the home straight to win the 1,500m gold in three minutes 45.60 seconds.

This time he kept his vest on at the end of a race which O'Hare managed to win bronze for Great Britain in three mins 46.18 secs.

Team-mate Charlie Grice crossed the line 12th having taken a tumble, while Ireland's Paul Robinson came home fourth. Ciaran O'Lionaird did not finish after taking a nasty-looking blow.