Victoria Park athlete Shakes-Drayton delighted with relay gold
Former Bishop Challoner pupil helps team win 4x400m at World Championships
Perri Shakes-Drayton ran a storming final leg as Britain’s 4x400m women’s relay team won a historic gold medal at the World Indoor Championships – then admitted it felt like her legs had just fallen off.
The 23-year-old Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets 400m hurdler hasn’t competed indoors all year but a sterling flat one-lap runner on her own, she was chosen as part of the British squad for the Turkish global gathering.
And it proved a masterstroke as Shakes-Drayton, running the anchor leg and doing so in first place after a storming penultimate 400m by Christine Ohuruogu, saw Britain home in style.
She showed great speed and awareness to hold off the charge of American Sanya Richards-Ross – a dip at the line giving them gold by 0.03seconds and a world leading time of 3:28.76 minutes.
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Earlier, Shana Cox and Nicola Sanders had put Britain into a healthy position in third and, after collapsing following her reach for the line, Shakes-Drayton knew she had given it her all.
“I wanted to forget about who was in my race, I saw Christine coming from third to first and I knew I had to hold it,” said Shakes-Drayton.
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“I didn’t want to lose anything out there so I just ran my legs off.
“I fell to the floor straight afterwards but I am alright.
“We have been working very hard and it is nice to see it come together and it is a great way to end the Championships.
“We worked hard for each other and just tried to put ourselves in the right position so we could fight to come out on top.
“We all had our individual jobs and it worked. We are delighted to come out on top at the World Championships and win gold.”
Shakes-Drayton’s stunning final leg made certain of a second British gold in Istanbul – Yamile Aldama winning the triple jump – as a record medal haul of nine was earned.
And GB&NI head coach Charles van Commenee said: “It’s the best team performance of all-time so we’ve every reason to travel home very happy indeed.”
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