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London 2017: Mitchell-Blake fourth in 200m final

PUBLISHED: 08:09 11 August 2017

Great Britain's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (right) and South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk in action during the 200m final at the World Championships at London Stadium (pic John Walton/PA)

Great Britain's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (right) and South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk in action during the 200m final at the World Championships at London Stadium (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Williams misses out on women’s final

Great Britain's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake after finishing fourth in the 200m final at the World Championships at London Stadium (pic Adam Davy/PA) Great Britain's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake after finishing fourth in the 200m final at the World Championships at London Stadium (pic Adam Davy/PA)

Unfortunately for British athletes, the IAAF don’t give prizes for fourth.

Newham & Essex Beagles’ Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake narrowly missed on out on the podium in the men’s 200m final on Thursday night as the home team notched up a fourth fourth-place of these World Championships in London.

After podium near-misses for Laura Muir in the 1500m, Kyle Langford in the 800m and Callum Hawkins in the marathon, Great Britain’s athletes needed a boost.

But Mitchell-Blake can hold his head up high after an impressive performance in his first major final, even if he was struggling to accentuate the positive post-race.

Bianca Williams (centre) races against USA's Kimberly Duncan and Trinidad and Tobago's Semoy Hackett in the semi-finals of the women's 200m at the World Championships at London Stadium (pic John Walton/PA) Bianca Williams (centre) races against USA's Kimberly Duncan and Trinidad and Tobago's Semoy Hackett in the semi-finals of the women's 200m at the World Championships at London Stadium (pic John Walton/PA)

You have to go back some way to find the last global 200m final that saw a podium without any Americans or Jamaicans and the times were slow in comparison to recent years.

Turkey’s Tamil Guliyev took gold in 20.09 seconds, narrowly denying South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk’s bid to become the first athlete to complete the 200m and 400m double since Michael Johnson 22 years ago.

“I feel like I let the nation down, I know I’m the calibre to get a medal,” said Mitchell-Blake, who clocked 20.24 secs.

“It was a great race with a great calibre of athlete but I wasn’t good enough on the day.

Great Britain's Bianca Williams (pic Jonathan Brady/PA) Great Britain's Bianca Williams (pic Jonathan Brady/PA)

“Coming in I wanted to win. Perhaps I’ll look back on being fourth in the world with pride but I’m just gutted it wasn’t enough for me.

“I feel I belong on this stage. The Olympics taught me a lot of hard lessons but I feel that I prepared for this World Championships.”

Meanwhile, Bianca Williams left the London Stadium relieved, despite failing to qualify for the final of the women’s 200m.

The UEL graduate clocked 23.40 for sixth in her semi-final, a tenth of a second slower than the time that had left her devastated at nearly missing out on the semi-finals after Tuesday’s heats.

But she was just happy to have had the chance to race a second consecutive world semi-final.

“I should be upset, but I’m not, I’m kind of happy I don’t have to run a 200m again this week,” admitted the 23-year-old.

“I tried to keep it similar to Tuesday, but when you have a false start it’s difficult - and I thought it was me because I was twitching like mad.

“But you know what, my coach told me it would take me 18 months to be where I am, and I’m not even half way through that yet - so this is just a stepping stone in the journey.

“Next season I believe that I can come back stronger, both mentally and physically.

“I’m grateful to be here, I’m grateful for the opportunity, many people would want to be here and I can say that I’ve been to my second World Championships and I’ve made semi-finals in both, so I’m grateful for that.

“I’m hoping to do some more 400s next season, to mix it up and do something different.”

*You can help the next generation of young British athletes by getting involved in SportsAid Week this September with London 2012 hero Greg Rutherford MBE.

Find out more about how you can support the week of fun and fundraising by visiting www.sportsaid.org.uk/sportsaidweek.

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