Final place safely booked

CAM CHALMERS played the role of front man yesterday as Great Britain qualified for the Olympic mixed 4x400m final in a national record time.

Cameron Chalmers ran the first leg for Great Britain in the mixed 4 x 400 m relay at the Tokyo Olympics. (Pictiure by Athetics Images) (29820588)
Cameron Chalmers ran the first leg for Great Britain in the mixed 4 x 400 m relay at the Tokyo Olympics. (Pictiure by Athetics Images) (29820588)

The television cameras were on Chalmers as he lined up for Team GB’s opening leg in Tokyo, and the 24-year-old Guernseyman did not falter under pressure, setting the quartet up for a fast 3min. 11.95sec. finish and fourth in their heat.

Although the top-three automatic qualifier evaded them, GB emerged from the quickest and most competitive of the two heats with a fastest loser’s spot.

Poland triumphed in 3-10.44 with the Netherlands just 0.25sec. behind, Jamaica edging third.

The earlier heat had highlighted the unpredictable nature of the format – the USA, the world record holders, finished first only to be disqualified for a changeover error. That handed the win to Belgium, who had clocked 3-12.75.

And so Chalmers will be hoping GB can pull off a few upsets when they contest today’s final at 1.35pm BST.

‘The main thing was to get in that final, and as you can see by the times, it’s wide open and we’re in a great position to try and do our best and fight for a medal,’ he said.

Chalmers had handed over lying fourth with a solid 45.86 individual split, with sound performances from seasoned female relay stars Zoey Clark and Emily Diamond lifting them to third at the final change.

Lee Thompson ran valiantly but Chalmers’ familiar contemporary, also 24, ended up being reeled in and overtaken by Jamaican anchorman Karayme Bartley in the push for home.

Whether GB go with the same team for the final remains to be seen, but the Sarnian’s status seems very secure.

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