2018 Gold Coast Diary: In the 4 x 100 meter relay, Team England takes a new approach, by Stuart Weir


What if the 4x100m team require a field eventer? Stuart Weir observed the 4x100m team fielded by Team England took an unique approach. He thinks that it is such a good idea he wants to make it a permanent approach to the relay.

team england 4 x 100m .jpgTeam England 4 x 100 meter team, photo by Stuart Weir

Track and Field relay, a new approach

I have an idea for a new event. I am sure that Seb Coe will love it. You mark my words, it will soon be in the Olympic program. But you heard it first here.

It is very simple. It is a 4 by 100 relay with one athlete a field eventer. Team England trialed it at the Commonwealth Games and it worked. Despite having a long jumper on the final leg England still beat the other 70 countries to win gold. OK not all 70 were in the final - the track isn't wide enough but that is not the point.

England with our legendary sense of fair play, knowing that we would win the race easily with four sprinters, decided to give the others a chance and chose a long-jumper for the final leg. There is a nasty rumour circulating that England only had three fit female sprinters. How mean can you get!

Ugen is a proper long-jumper second in the World Indoors in 2016, twice fifth in the World outdoors, Olympic finalist. PR of 6.97 - but not a sprinter.

Anyway, the experiment was so successful that team-mate Bianca Williams said afterwards: "You never know, we might bring a field eventer in to every championships!"

Asha Philip said: "Respect to Lorraine Ugen today - we had the job of just getting the baton round to her with an ample lead, and after that she could do her job".

Dina Asha-Smith confirmed that relay running is so easy that any long-jumper should be able to do it: "It shows how strong we are though, with minimal practice as a team to go out there and win a gold medal - thank you very much to the team. Lorraine's got a strong background in it and we knew she could changeover well".

Finally Lorraine's take: "I did my first changeovers earlier today, but it went pretty well. I knew if I was going to get called up that I'd only accept it if I knew I could do a good job. The girls gave me a really big lead so all I had to do was hold it. All I was thinking was 'keep running, keep running'. I don't think I've done a relay since university".

OK Seb, if you need any help, contact me through RunBlogRun. I will be registering the patent in the morning.

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