Athletics: Jones declares Lewis fit to defend her Olympic heptathlon title

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The Independent Online

As the Great Britain selectors prepared to name their final squad for the Olympic Games today, UK Athletics' performance director, Max Jones, said Denise Lewis will be fit to defend her heptathlon title. Lewis limped away from the long jump in the Norwich Union British trials on Sunday after only three rounds, raising a major injury scare. But Jones said: "She's had the same foot problem for the last four years and in individual competitions, normally never takes the maximum six jumps.

"Really there's nothing to worry about. It's a normal part of her week, something she copes with, and [this] was just another day at the office."

Jones confirmed that leading medal prospects Darren Campbell, Phillips Idowu and Donna Fraser, who missed vital competition at the cold Manchester venue, will also be fit for Athens.

"We advised Darren not to contest the 200 metres final as a precautionary measure," said Jones of the Sydney Olympic silver medallist at the distance. Campbell injured his ribs falling at the finish of the 100m when placing second to Jason Gardener on the first day of the trials.

Jones praised the performances of the British sprinters after scathing attacks made on them last week by the world 400m and 110m hurdlers record holders Michael Johnson and Colin Jackson.

"I think they clearly showed they all have the potential to reach the Olympic final," said Jones. "Forget the negative comments that were made. If they'd been running in the warm conditions they will get in Athens, their times would have been world class."

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