Team England is pleased to announce that its women’s 4x100m relay team is set to be upgraded to Commonwealth champions following confirmation that Nigeria, the original winners, have been disqualified due to an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.
The relay squad, consisting of Asha Philip, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Bianca Williams and Daryll Neita (with Ashleigh Nelson running in the heat) originally won silver at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The team crossed the line in 42.41, eclipsing the previous fastest time set in England colours (42.46) at the Commonwealth Games. They were beaten by Nigeria’s squad, which included Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha who has since been disqualified.
Team England now retains its title as Commonwealth champions, having won the event at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where Asha Philip and Bianca Williams also formed part of the quartet.
Now double Commonwealth champion, Asha Philip, said: “I am delighted to become a Commonwealth Games Champion from the 2022 Games. It's truly an honour to represent my country and the Birmingham Games were so awesome with a home crowd.
"This means a lot to me, as it is my second Commonwealth Games Gold. I have been blessed to achieve so much in my career, and I can't wait to achieve even more in the seasons to come. Competing in front of the home crowd was amazing, the support was incredible.
"I always say Birmingham is my second home due to my family ties to the Midlands, so it was really special and I loved having so many of my family and friends in the crowd. I will definitely make time to celebrate this achievement in some way, most likely with family and friends as that is how I love to spend my time away from the track.”
Commonwealth bronze medallist in the 100m at Birmingham 2022, Daryll Neita, said: “I was very happy to hear we had been upgraded to the gold.
"Our team really deserves it as we work hard to achieve these medals. It’s a bittersweet feeling, now finding out we won gold it feels amazing. However, it remains unknown as to what it would have felt like in the moment with the home crowd celebrating that win in Birmingham.
"I remember the atmosphere in Birmingham being absolutely electric. It was definitely the best crowd I’ve ever competed in front of. Nothing beats home support, Birmingham showed us so much love when we won our silver (at the time), I can only imagine what it would have been like if we got the gold.
"This (becoming Commonwealth Games champion) sits in line with my other relay medals, it’s great to add a gold to the list, alongside Olympic, world champs, and European medals but this one is super special because it was in front of a home crowd.”
Imani-Lara Lansiquot reflected on the gold medal: “It’s a mixed bag of emotions. A little relief that the right decision was made, a little disappointment that we didn’t get to share that moment with the crowd but overall, I feel huge joy and excitement! It’s a big honour to be a Commonwealth champion.
"The Commonwealth Games was my favourite competition to date as the home crowd really made it one for the books. It surpassed all expectations after covid-hit years to our sport, so this medal signifies a lot for me.
"They (the home crowd) lifted us from a relay perspective, especially as we were fresh off what happened at the World Championships a few weeks earlier. Moments like that are always very humbling, considering where I’ve come from, I never thought I’d be in a stadium of people going crazy for a team I was part of. I’m very grateful for that memory and it’s one I won’t forget.”
Ashleigh Nelson added: “It’s really nice to win a gold medal, especially at the Commonwealths knowing it was in Birmingham, it’s just really disappointing not to have been able to win the gold at the time.
"I’ve only ever seen this happen to other athletes and heard how they describe it, and it is exactly that feeling of having that moment stolen from you and you’ll never get it back, especially with it being a home championship. So, it is amazing and exciting, and I’ve got a massive smile on my face, but at the same time I do feel quite sad for all the girls.
"dYou work so hard, and nothing is ever guaranteed so when you do have a moment like this it’s magic. It will be lovely to celebrate with the girls at some point. Hopefully, whoever is in charge can put something on for us to get our medals together so we can celebrate as a team.”
Bianca Williams said: "The news is very bittersweet especially as the Games were at home in front of family and friends. We came into the Commonwealth Games as reigning champions and it would have been great to get a gold medal at home. Very happy to be double Commonwealth Games gold medallists in the relay.”
The confirmation of the disqualification, based on a positive drug test, reinforces a commitment to fair play, clean competition, and the integrity of sport.
Commonwealth Games England’s President, Dame Denise Lewis said: “We extend our congratulations to the 4x100m relay team for their well-deserved elevation to Commonwealth Champions. They have demonstrated to the world the importance of clean competition and the value of upholding the principles that make sport a powerful force for positive change.”
To commemorate this momentous achievement, Team England is working with England Athletics to present the team with their gold medals and celebrate with their friends and family.
Team England secured a record-breakasing medal haul in Athletics at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The upgrade from silver to gold in the Women’s 4x100m Relay has taken the total to eight golds, 14 silver and 12 bronze medals.