8:41am Monday 12th March 2012
© Press Association 2013
A stunning return to form by Christine Ohuruogu helped Britain achieve their biggest medal haul in World Indoor Championship history, and confirmed Olympic preparations are firmly on track.
Ohuruogu has suffered badly with injuries and a loss of form since winning Olympic 400 metres gold in Beijing in 2008, and openly admitted she was not exactly keen on competing in Istanbul. But the 27-year-old Londoner produced a storming third leg in the women's 4x400m relay, to set up hurdles specialist Perri Shakes-Drayton to anchor the team to gold.
"Training has been going well so I'm just happy that I've come out and we've won a gold medal," Ohuruogu said. "I didn't really want to come here. I don't like indoors very much. It's been five or six months of winter training now so I'm happy that I could come here and finish my winter training in one piece with a successful run."
She added: "I'm in a good place. I knew if I didn't run well, Lloyd (Cowan, her coach) was going to kill me anyway."
The gold was the highlight of a final day which brought five medals and took the team's tally to nine - surpassing the total of seven achieved in Birmingham in 2003 - with the men's relay quartet almost claiming gold as well when the USA were disqualified for a changeover infringement.
The team of Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham and Richard Buck eventually had to settle for silver when the American team's appeal was upheld, but that was added to bronze medals for Shara Proctor in the long jump, Andrew Osagie in the 800m and Holly Bleasdale in the pole vault.
It proved an afternoon of appeals and protests, with Mo Farah convinced he was obstructed in the 3,000m final and briefly promoted from fourth to third when Kenya's Edwin Soi was disqualified for obstruction.
There was no dispute in the women's pole vault where world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva (4.80m) needed just two vaults to win gold, with Bleasdale and France's Vanessa Boslak the only other athletes to clear 4.70m.
In the long jump, Proctor took the lead by equalling her British record with a jump of 6.86m in the third round, but then saw American duo Janay Deloach and Brittney Reese overtake her with jumps of 6.98m and 7.23m respectively in the final round. Proctor improved to 6.89m with the last jump of the competition, but had to settle for bronze.
And in the 800m, Osagie looked like having to settle for fourth until a late burst down the home straight took him past Poland's Adam Kszczot into third place in a race won by Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman.
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