Relaygate at Malaga worlds: Will Yanks move up from silver to gold in W55 4×400?

W55 Angela Sonn Bryant (right) joined some W45 ladies to run the 4x400 at Malaga worlds. But Angela's name also appears in the W55 results. Photo by Tom Phillips

Angela Sonn was a prolific W55 sprinter this season in Great Britain. She recorded nearly five dozen races between 60 and 400 meters. But I doubt she ran the W55 4×400 relay at 5:05 p.m. Sept. 16 at Malaga worlds and the W45 4×4 about 50 minutes later. Yet that’s what results show.

In fact, she ran only once — dropping down to anchor the W45 relay, which took sixth behind Team USA’s fifth.

The W55 British relay team took gold in the 4×4, but results don’t reflect the actual lineup. Photo by Tom Phillips

So how does her name appear in the W55 results, which shows her team winning gold? I wrote WMA officials (crickets) and British meet manager Maurice Doogan, who responded: “Angela being included in both results was brought to my attention by guys at home checking the results, on Monday 17th, whilst on the way back to London. I raised this issue with WMA and the LOC on Tuesday 18th and they are looking into it.”

This isn’t a mere curiosity. At 2015 Lyon worlds, a British W35 4×100 team was DQ’d after it was discovered they ran someone who was not on their roster as one of the four legs or as an alternate. The result? The U.S. team moved up a place and took the bronze from the Brits.

Now it’s déjà vu all over again. But this time, if the Brits are DQ’d the Americans move up from silver to gold. That U.S. W55 team was Shemayne Williams, Lorraine Jasper, Adriene Allen and Kathleen Shook.

I’m not sure how Maurice was involved at Malaga, but he once was suspended for shenanigans involving “illegal substitution” in the Lyon relay.

In any case, the Malaga relay results aren’t set in stone. The Yanks may yet grab gold in that 4×4. Stay tuned.

Here’s how I learned of Relaygate — from a Welsh newsletter account.

Angela Sonn – or should that be Bryant, married her partner Mike just before the trip, so hundreds of friend joined them on their honeymoon in Malaga!

Angela ran the (W55) 100, 200 and 400m, but sadly didn’t make it beyond the heats.

In the 4×100 relay Angela joined the top three ranked GB (W55) 100m athletes Mel Garland, Kirsten King and Eni Font Freide to form a really strong team. The baton changes could have been sharper, but with no relay training this was to be expected. Despite this, they achieved 56.52s for 3rd place and a Bronze Medal.

Angela had also been selected (through the proper BMAF selection process) to run a leg in the GB (W55) 4×400 relay team.

When she arrived in the pre-race call room Angela was unceremoniously bumped out of the team and replaced by another athlete. As the relay teams all had to be fully agreed and declared to the organisers the day before the race (we had seen a copy of the team sheet) we knew that Angela was in the GB (W55) squad. However, on the day, it appears that something underhand took place, which must have involved part of GB Team Management and probably the self appointed captain of the W55 squad.

Angela was shuffled down into the W45 relay team (she is almost 58) and unsurprisingly they failed to medal. Meanwhile, the team in which she should have raced, the W55 ladies, came home with Gold. To rub salt into the wounds Angela’s name remains on the official results sheet, so it looks as though she won a Gold Medal. Her name also appears on the GB team within the W45 results.

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at or Story tips always welcome!

1 Comment on "Relaygate at Malaga worlds: Will Yanks move up from silver to gold in W55 4×400?"

  1. Relays results

    One possibility…

    Sometimes an alternates name is not listed as the actual runner. Sometimes the alternate checks in with the clerk … but the info does not get updated in the results.

    One possibility

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