Athletics: Chambers struggles in defeat by Collins

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The European 100 metres champion, Dwain Chambers, finished a disappointing fourth in the Prefontaine Classic IAAF Grand Prix One meeting in Eugene, Oregon.

Tipped as favourite after the withdrawal of the world record holder Tim Montgomery, Chambers was never in contention in Saturday's race. For the second successive weekend, after he beat the reigning Olympic and world title holder Maurice Greene in Portland, Kim Collins mastered the mainly American opposition, winning in 10.00sec.

Trinidad's 18-year-old world junior champion, Darrel Brown, was second in 10.08 ahead of Bernard Williams, who finished in 10.12sec. Then, well off the pace, came Chambers in 10.17.

Elsewhere, Chris Rawlinson and Sean Baldock, both Commonwealth Games gold medallists, produced winning performances for their respective clubs on the first day of the European Champion Clubs Championships in Valencia.

Rawlinson running for the Greek side Panellionis, won the 400m hurdles in a time of 49.72sec from Belgrave's Matt Douglas, who finished in 51.02sec. The London club's only success came from Baldock, who ran an impressive 46.43sec in the 400m flat. Rawlinson, who is funded to race for the Greek national champions, finished second in 47.04sec.

Meanwhile in Bedford yesterday, the UK 400m record-holder, Iwan Thomas, proved he is over his injury problems by easing to victory on the first day of the UK Inter-Counties Championships.

The South Wales runner, who has struggled to rediscover his best form since winning the 400m gold medals at the European Championships, World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 1998, won in 46.65sec. Thomas was 0.25sec quicker than his fastest rival in the first round and was so satisfied with his performance that he withdrew from the final to conserve his energies for stiffer tests to come.

In Halle, Germany, there were mixed results for the two British throwers Nick Nieland and Shelley Newman, who travelled to the world-class Hallesche Werfertage meeting. Nieland, the Commonwealth Games javelin bronze medallist whose pre-season training suggests he is in 80-metres shape, had to be satisfied with a best on the day of 75.59m.

In contrast, Newman, a Commonwealth Games discus bronze medallist, had every reason to be delighted with her first serious series of the summer. All six throws soared beyond 57m and her best of 59.80m earned her sixth place.