Athletics: Dream run by Tromans
Monday 03 March 1997
Only 10 months ago, the 27-year-old lecturer from Coventry underwent heart surgery for a progressive heart condition which rendered him unable to run. Yesterday's Reebok trial, three weeks before the World Championships in Turin, was his first cross-country race in 16 months.
Watched by a large family entourage, he secured one of the nine British team places in finishing fourth behind the winner, Keith Cullen. "To come through it all and make the team is just brilliant," Tromans said, temporarily immune to the wind buffeting over the course alongside Luton Airport. "I had dreamt about this, but to turn it into reality... I just can't believe it."
Tromans had suffered intermittently since 1991 with a condition that was eventually diagnosed as tachycardia, requiring two operations to burn out an extra valve which had developed in his heart. "I would run out of oxygen," he recalled. "My heart rate would go up to 220 and I would just have to stop. It was quite unpredictable. Sometimes I could run for two hours, sometimes for half a minute."
Tromans will join the team including Cullen, the European champion Jon Brown - who along with the top British woman, Paula Radcliffe, was selected despite missing the trials - and Andrew Pearson in seeking to improve on the fifth place at last year's World Championships in South Africa.
The other optional place alongside Brown went to Dermot Donnelly, who finished 11th, in preference to Rob Denmark. The Commonwealth 5,000 metres champion, who made last year's team despite finishing outside the automatic placings, slipped to 19th yesterday, too far off the pace to be acceptable.
The women's race was won by Hayley Haining, the 24-year-old Scot who was top individual finisher - in ninth place - of the British team which took silver in last December's European Championships. Haining has had an encouraging winter after missing nearly five years of competition with a series of injuries.
Ashia Hansen, the triple jumper who was left out of Britain's team for next weekend's World Indoor Championships because she was training in South Africa and missed the trials, has been added to the team for Paris after being given the benefit of the doubt by the British Athletic Federation. Although selectors informed athletes that the trials would be compulsory, they decided that there had been "reasonable doubt" whether Hansen had received the official communication.
Jamie Baulch, one of Britain's other hopes for a title, will not need to face America's reigning world indoor 400m champion Darnell Hall, who failed to take one of the two selection places at this weekend's US trials.
Derek Mills won the 400m event in 46.09sec. Baulch's coach, Colin Jackson, who finished third in the 60m hurdles at Sindelfingen on Saturday, also faces an event which has lost ex-reigning champion. Allen Johnson had to drop out of the trials after injuring a knee in the heats.
Linford Christie ran 6.51sec for the 60m in Sindelfingen, the fastest by a Briton this year. He will not, though, be running in Paris.
Mary Slaney qualified for the 1500 metres in next week's indoor World Championships on Saturday night with the fastest indoor time for seven years. At the US Indoor Track and Field Championships in Atlanta, the 38-year-old won in 4min 03.08sec, finishing more than 30 metres ahead of Suzy Hamilton. "I planned to go out hard." said Slaney, who led from the start. "Sometimes if you sit in the pack, the pace gets slower and slower so it's only a race in the last 200 or 300 metres."
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