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ATHLETICS: Great Britons finish with a silver streak.

BRITAIN'S sprint stars went out in a blaze of glory last night as they shattered the European record to win silver in the 4x100m relay at the World Championships in Seville.

The quartet of Jason Gardener, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Dwain Chambers clocked 37.73 secs as they pushed the Americans all the way. The time slashed 0.04secs off the previous mark set in Stuttgart six years ago.

America, led home by individual 100m and 200m champ Maurice Greene, triumphed in 37.59secs, with Nigeria third in 37.91.

The silver took Britain's medal tally on the final day at the Olympic Stadium to seven - our best haul since the 1993 Championships.

And the results were hailed last night a success by head coach Max Jones.

Hurdler Colin Jackson topped the list with a gold, there were silvers for Denise Lewis, Dean Macey and Paula Radcliffe, while bronze went to Jonathan Edwards and Chambers (2).

British boss Jones said: "Colin removed the stigma that we could not win gold at major championships after waiting four years since Jonathan did it in Gothenburg with his fantastic world record.

"Now when I look at the overall picture, I can clearly see 16 or 17 medal possibilities at next September's Sydney Olympics.

"That should pretty well guarantee us seven or eight medals at those Games.

"When you have that kind of ratio, it can even lead to bringing home three or four golds - provided everybody stays fit and well."

Jones was determined to strike an optimistic note despite being heavily criticised in the wake of our men's and women's 4x400m relays flop.

Mark Richardson was rested from the men's foursome, while Katharine Merry - also an individual finalist - did not appear in the women's line up and neither team made the final.

Steve Backley's hopes of adding another medal to his collection were dashed as he finished eighth in the javelin, struggling with a knee injury.

Finn Aki Parviainen took the gold medal with a fifth round effort of 89.52m

The Bahamas won the women's 4x100 relay gold, easily beating France and Jamaica while the heavily-backed American team were fourth.

Michael Johnson won his second gold of the Championships as he anchored the USA men's team to a relay double by taking the 4x400m title in 56.34secs. Russia took the women's event.

Wilson Kipketer of Denmark retained his 800m title, lunging over past the finish line just ahead of South African Hezekiel Sepeng.
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Title Annotation:SPORT
Author:Tracey, Ted
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 30, 1999
Words:413
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