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World Athletics Championships: British athletes that impressed

Sports Mole selects the British athletes that made the biggest impressions at the recent World Athletics Championships.

The recent World Athletics Championships in Beijing has been deemed a success for the British team, who finished fourth in the medals table behind Kenya, Jamaica and the United States.

Between the 63-strong squad, four gold medals were won, along with one silver and two bronzes.

Now that the dust has settled on the event, Sports Mole picks out the British athletes that made the biggest impression on the track and out in the field.


1. Super Saturday trio show class

Jessica Ennis-Hill of Great Britain celebrates after winning the Women's Heptathlon 800 metres and the overall Heptathlon gold during day two of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 23, 2015© Getty Images

No matter what happens in future Olympics Games, it is highly unlikely that Saturday, August 2 at London 2012 will ever be bettered as far as British athletics is concerned. That was the night, which would later be branded 'Super Saturday', that Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all wowed the home crowd by winning gold in their respective fields.

The trio were back three years later in China and although it may not have been on the same day this time around, all three headed home with the top prize hanging around their necks. Ennis-Hill, 13 months after she had given birth to her first child, triumphed in the heptathlon, while Rutherford's season-best leap of 8.41m won the long jump. He now holds the Olympic, European, World and Commonwealth titles, something only four other Britons - Daley Thompson, Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Jonathan Edwards - have achieved.

As for Farah, just as he did in London and at the 2013 Worlds in Moscow, he doubled up with more impressive showings in the men's 5,000m and 10,000m. It was an achievement that prompted Brendan Foster to declare the 32-year-old Britain's "greatest sportsman".


2. Muir impresses in strong field

Laura Muir of Great Britain and Northern Ireland reacts after the Women's 1500 metres heats during day one of the 22nd European Athletics Championships on August 12, 2014© Getty Images

Laura Muir may have caught the eye in numerous Diamond League meetings throughout the summer, but in the women's 1,500m, she was up against some stellar opposition. In the final the Scot was presented with a field that contained the world-record holder, as well as the Commonwealth and European champions.

But, she refused to be overawed. Having seemingly taken confidence from qualifying as the third fastest in the semi-finals, Muir finished an impressive fifth in a time of 4:11.48. Speaking afterwards, she said: "I'm really pleased. That was such a tough field. I think any other year I probably would have medalled."


3. United relay teams

Rabah Yousif of Great Britain, Delanno Williams of Great Britain, Jarryd Dunn of Great Britain and Martyn Rooney of Great Britain celebrate after winning bronze in the Men's 4x400 Metres Relay final during day nine of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Champio© Getty Images

There was something of the playground about the fallout from the men's 4x100m team's failure to get the baton successfully around the track, but there were no such problems for both of the 400m quartets.

The women went first and while it was widely accepted that the Americans and Jamaicans would battle it out for gold and silver, bronze was up for grabs. Christine Ohuruogu, Annika Onuora, Eilidh Child and 20-year-old Seren Bundy-Davies made the most of that opportunity thanks to a season-best time of 3:23.62.

It was then over to the men, who matched their female compatriots. The first three legs were run by Rabah Yousif, Delano Williams and Jarryd Dunn, before it was left to new father Martyn Rooney to anchor the team home. He did just that, but it was extremely close as he pipped Jamaica's Javon Francis by four thousandths of a second.


4. Bright futures for Asher-Smith, Hughes

Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain competes in the Women's 200 metres semi-final during day six of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 27, 2015© Getty Images

Dina Asher-Smith, who is arguably the golden girl of British athletics right now, broke a record virtually every time that she stepped onto a track this summer. The 19-year-old continued that trend in the 200m in Beijing, where she set personal bests in the heats and semi-finals. Then, by finishing fifth in the final, she broke the British record set by Kathy Cook in 1984. What's more, Asher-Smith's time of 22.07s would have been enough to win seven of the previous 10 World Championships finals.

As for Zharnel Hughes, he acknowledged before the event that to win a medal in the men's 200m, he would need to run under 20 seconds. The Anguilla-born sprinter was proven right, but he couldn't quite break that barrier. Nevertheless, the 20-year-old, like Asher-Smith, finished in fifth spot in a time of 20.02s.


5. Proctor leaps to silver

Shara Proctor of Great Britain competes in the Women's Long Jump final during day seven of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 28, 2015© Getty Images

Shara Proctor would have snapped your hand off had you offered her a silver medal before the long jump got underway. But, as the event unfolded, she is probably slightly disappointed not to have claimed the gold medal.

The 26-year-old jumped 7.07m in the third round to become the first British woman to go over seven metres and it also smashed her own national record. However, in the final round America's Tianna Bartoletta broke Proctor's golden dream when she recorded a distance of 7.14m, which was a new personal best and demoted the Brit down to second place.

Proctor refused to be too downbeat, though, as she told BBC Sport: "I feel like a winner, I don't care about the colour of the medal. I was told I might not be strong enough. I'm here, I conquered."


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Gold medallist Greg Rutherford of England poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s Long Jump at Hampden Park during day seven of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 30, 2014
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