Dina Asher-Smith moves out on her own with six of the best – AW

    4x100m relay gold in Rome makes sprint star Britain’s most successful athlete in European Championships history

    There was a golden flourish to the British finish at the European Championships in Rome as the women’s 4x100m relay stormed to victory on the final night of action at the Olympic Stadium.

    The win meant Dina Asher-Smith became the most successful British athlete in European Championships history as she moved clear of Roger Black and Mo Farah to stand alone with a tally of six gold medals.

    The individual 100m champion combined beautifully with Desiree Henry, Amy Hunt and Daryll Neita, flying to a European lead of 41.91 that saw them come home well ahead of France (42.15) and Netherlands (42.46).

    It was redemption for two years ago, when the British line-up had failed to get the baton round and, for Asher-Smith, who was only able to take individual 200m silver in Munich, an important milestone had been reached.

    “It feels pretty special,” said the 28-year-old. “I definitely really wanted this one and it was one of the big, big reasons why I came here. I was annoyed at Munich because I knew it [a sixth medal] was on the cards if I performed well there but I wanted to come to Rome and take that record.”

    It was a second European 4x100m medal for Henry, coming 10 years after her first, while Hunt now has her first senior European gold, tangible reward following her comeback from serious injury and having made big changes by moving to Italy to train with Marco Airale.

    For Hunt’s training partner Neita, this was a second European relay gold and provided some consolation after the disappointment of missing out on 200m victory by the narrowest of margins the previous evening.

    Italian 4x100m winners (Getty)

    After their disastrous performance in the heats, there was no British interest in a men’s 4x100m final that was dominated by the Italian line-up of Matteo Melluzzo, Marcell Jacobs, Lorenzo Patta and Filippo Tortu, who clocked a European lead of 37.82.

    Netherlands got closest to the host nation with a time of 38.46, while Germany landed bronze in 38.52.

    Dutch 4x400m gold (Getty)

    In the women’s 4x400m relay, Netherlands retained their European title but not before Femke Bol had had a little fun.

    Lieke Klaver had put the Dutch into the lead before handing over to 400m hurdles silver medallist Cathelijn Peeters but a superb second leg of 49.36 from Rhasidat Adeleke gave Ireland the advantage at the next handover. Phil Healy did her best to hold that lead but was overtaken by Lisanne de Witte and Dutch superstar Femke Bol was given a 10m margin to play with as she began the anchor leg.

    Sharlene Mawdsley and the chasing pack were allowed to close the gap to just a metre or so but, just when it looked like the pressure was about to be applied, the 400m hurdles champion called on her considerable reserves of speed to ease herself over the line, her team getting the job done in a European lead of 3:22.39.

    The Irish made sure of second in a national record of 3:22.71 and, following on from gold in the mixed 4x400m relay, Adeleke’s 400m silver and Ciara Mageean’s 1500m gold, it is the first time ever that Ireland has won four medals at a European Championships.

    The Belgian quartet took bronze in 3:22.95 ahead of the Italian national record 3:23.40.

    Belgian 4x400m winners (Getty)

    There was even greater success for the Belgians in the men’s 4x400m relay, with individual 400m champion Alexander Doom winning his second gold of these championships as he anchored his team to a European lead of 2:59.84. Italy, who had led briefly, won silver in 3:00.81 – their first medal in this event since 1971 – while bronze went to Germany in 3:00.82.

    The British team, without 400m silver medallist Charlie Dobson, were third at the final changeover but ultimately finished seventh in 3:01.89.

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