Talbot, who studied Sports Performance while training at the University, ran an outstanding third leg in the IAAF World Athletics Championships final to increase the lead given to him by CJ Ujah and Adam Gemili over the first 200m.
Nathaneel Mitchell-Blake then held off the United States’ 100m silver-medalist Christian Coleman to bring the baton home in a new European record of 37.47 – the third fastest sprint relay of all time – and secure Britain’s first-ever World gold in the event.
Talbot, from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, first started training at the University as a junior and said he knew gold was in the bag as soon as he passed over the baton in a dramatic final that saw Jamaican legend Usain Bolt pull up with an injury in his last-ever championships race.
“I came around the bend and I couldn’t feel anyone,” Talbot said. “I thought ‘these two have put me in an unbelievable position’. I just had to go with it, then I saw Nethaneel ahead and thought, ‘we’ve won this’.
“I think the public have probably heard enough about us being the best generation of sprinting with no results, so it’s nice we came here in front of our home crowd and do exactly what we thought we could.
“We had so much self-belief. We didn’t come here to just get on the podium, we came to win and that’s what we did. The time was a bonus – everything just came into place tonight and we’re so happy.
We did it! WORLD CHAMPIONS!! pic.twitter.com/BAhiXuV9Ak
— Danny Talbot (@DannyRakeTalbot) August 13, 2017
Talbot and his triumphant team-mates received their gold medals ahead of the final session of the championships on Sunday evening when Britain will be targeting two more relay medals in the 4x400m finals.
Emily Diamond, coached remotely at the Sports Training Village by Jared Deacon, anchored the women’s quartet to the second fastest time in qualifying on Saturday. She will be looking for another global medal having won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with fellow University-based athlete Eilidh Doyle, who is also in the relay squad.
“It was phenomenal running there this morning and hopefully we can come back in the final and get the job done,” Diamond said after the heats.
“We still have two girls in the team who haven’t run today so we have great strength and depth. I think whatever team runs in the final they will have a great shout of bringing back one of the medals. It should be good fun, I can’t wait.”
The men’s final will conclude the championships and will feature Sports Performance graduate Jack Green, who helped the British quartet qualify as fourth-fastest from the heats.
“I am pleased that I was able to help the team out,” he said. “I am pleased to be in the squad and lucky to be running with this calibre of athlete.”