Athletics: Holmes pays heavy price for pulling out of trials

It is a measure of Kelly Holmes's transformed status that she can equably contemplate a fine of £25,000 for missing this weekend's Norwich Union AAA Championships and European trials in Sheffield, which lost another Olympic gold medallist when Mark Lewis-Francis pulled out of the 60 metres as a precaution after his recent hamstring injury.

It is a measure of Kelly Holmes's transformed status that she can equably contemplate a fine of £25,000 for missing this weekend's Norwich Union AAA Championships and European trials in Sheffield, which lost another Olympic gold medallist when Mark Lewis-Francis pulled out of the 60 metres as a precaution after his recent hamstring injury.

Under a rule established last year following a series of damaging no-shows at national trials, athletes failing to turn up are deducted 25 per cent of their fees for either the indoor or outdoor season. The double Olympic champion, currently training in South Africa, is estimated to be receiving £100,000 for last month's appearance in Glasgow and her scheduled race in next Friday's Birmingham Grand Prix.

A spokesman for Fast Track, which promotes British athletics, confirmed Holmes would be fined, adding that the consequences of her failure to participate had been explained to her. A spokeswoman for Holmes's management team said yesterday: "This is a standard fine, and Kelly was aware of it when she was negotiating her indoor appearances."

Holmes may yet decide to take part in next month's European Indoor Championships, but she will leave her decision until after she has completed the 1,000m race at the National Indoor Arena. UK Athletics, which was aware Holmes never intended to do the trials, still has the option to select her for Madrid on 4-6 March under its "exceptional circumstances" rule.

While Holmes's absence was expected, that of Lewis-Francis, who sustained a minor tear to his hamstring while running in Birmingham on 29 January, is a severe blow, not least to the BBC, who had hoped to televise live his meeting with fellow Olympic relay champion Jason Gardener over 60m tomorrow.

Lewis-Francis was advised not to risk running by a UK Athletics doctor based at his training venue in Birmingham. Thus Gardener, the world indoor 60m champion last year, will find his task significantly simpler, although he faces a challenge from Mark Findlay, who has won all five of his indoor races so far this year with a best of 6.67sec.

Findlay, who tried without success to gain a place in the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic relay squad last year, could get close to 6.60 on the Sheffield Arena track. Gardener, who ran 6.56 in Ghent last weekend, will be seeking another swift run to set himself up for Friday's meeting with the likes of Maurice Greene and, assuming he recovers, Lewis-Francis.

Jade Johnson, whose indoor season appeared to be over when she hobbled away from the long jump pit in Glasgow with a back injury, is fit to compete after her problem was diagnosed as being only a muscle spasm. But the European and Commonwealth silver medallist will need to be at her best to defeat Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton, who plans to compete in four events at Sheffield - the shot and long jump today, and the high jump and hurdles tomorrow.

The trials also mark a return for Phillips Idowu, whose high hopes in the Olympic triple jump ended in traumatic failure. Among his opponents in tomorrow's final is Jonathan Moore, making his first triple-jump appearance since the serious knee injury he sustained at Bedford three years ago.

The 800m should see James McIlroy holding off the Welshman who has already achieved the European qualifying mark of 1min 49sec this season, student Jimmy Watkins. And the 200m offers Chris Lambert the chance to show he can perform after two less than successful outings in Glasgow and Ghent.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operations & Logistics Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...

Recruitment Genius: GeoDatabase Specialist - Hazard Modelling

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...

Recruitment Genius: Compressed Air Pipework Installation Engineer

£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Pallet Network

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project