Handover horror hits relay Brits
Great Britain's men's 4x100 metres men's relay team were left heartbroken after yet another baton blunder cost them a bronze on a chaotic final night at the World Championships in Moscow.
The quartet, who saw Dwain Chambers run a powerful final leg to cross the line in third position, were on their way to their medal presentation when they were told a faulty second handover between Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Ellington had led to a disqualification.
It was the same old story as for the sixth time in seven major championships they made a critical error and ended up wondering what might have been.
"It's heartbreaking," said Aikines-Aryeetey. "I feel like s***. You're going out there to get your medal and then someone stands in front of you and says, 'Sorry to be the bearer of bad news'.
"I don't understand, it just doesn't feel real. I gave him the baton, I ran for my life.
"We are in the industry where this our bread and butter. This means a lot to us and we worked so hard for this.
"It does take its toll. You can only get knocked down so many times.
"We are going to come back fighting, we are going to give our all next time, but this still cuts deep. You can't take away how much this hurts us.
"Everyone reacted in different ways and this is painful - one of the most painful experiences I've had in this sport."
It was all the more galling given the team had already completed their lap of honour, Chambers wearing a bowler hat and draped in a Union Flag.
He had come flying down the home straight to bring the team home in third place, with a Usain Bolt-anchored Jamaica taking gold. The quartet of Adam Gemili, Aikines-Aryeetey, Ellington and Chambers clocked a season's best of 37.80 seconds, but it proved irrelevant and is now wiped from the record books.
Canada were promoted to bronze in their place.
The emotions behind the scenes could not have been more contrasting, with the Canadian quartet shouting loudly in the mixed zone when given the news, while a tearful Ellington had a towel over his head, unable to speak.
Chambers, 35, has experienced plenty of ups and downs in his career.
He said: "It is emotional. To be able to cross the line in third place and secure a medal, we were looking forward to getting on the podium.
"But this is sport and it is just unfortunate that we were not able to experience what these guys are experiencing on the podium.
"All we can do now is get back home, build our team spirit back up again and move onto next year."
UK Athletics performance director and acting head coach Neil Black told the BBC: "It's pretty gutting and I'm sure we all feel the same but that's the sport."
The man Black is filling in for as head coach is Peter Eriksson, who left his position at UKA in late June, to take up the same role with Canada.
Canadian sprinter Dontae Richards-Kwok said the team had been told to appeal by one of the German relay squad, who had seen the British infringement.