ATHLETICS: Britain depleted by new absentee

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The Independent Online
DARREN CAMPBELL, the newly-crowned European 100 metres champion, yesterday dealt another blow to Britain's team for next week's World Cup in Johannesburg by withdrawing because of injury.

Campbell, who has a hamstring problem, will be replaced by his Belgrave club-mate Dwain Chambers who he beat to win the sprint title in Budapest last month.

The 24-year-old is the third of Britain's six individual men's winners in the Europeans to have pulled out. He joins Doug Walker, the 200m champion, and the triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, who pulled out with an ankle injury which has been troubling him all year. He is hoping to have a keyhole surgery operation in Switzerland next month.

Campbell, whose hamstring strain has been brought on by a back problem, will now battle to regain his fitness for the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur which start just three days after the World Cup finishes.

The Cardiff-based runner's absence is another blow to the team's hopes of following up their success in Hungary, though Chambers should prove an able replacement. The 20-year-old, who set a world junior record of 10.06sec last year, was bitterly disappointed at missing out on gold to Campbell and will be determined to atone for that in South Africa.

Along with the six athletes originally selected for individual slots who have now pulled out of the team Mark Richardson has also been lost in the 4x400m relay.

Paul Slythe, of the GEC Avionics team, has been added to the relay squad for the one-man-per-event competition which gets under way a week tomorrow.