Athletics: Sotherton goes bananas over Regis monkey business

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The Independent Online

Kelly Sotherton was a woman still on a mission at the World Championships here in Japan's second city yesterday. After securing the heptathlon bronze medal on Sunday and rounding on Lyudmila Blonska, the Ukrainian silver medallist with a doping record, the Birchfield Harrier turned her sights on critics of the Great Britain team – taking aim at John Regis, Colin Jackson and Jonathan Edwards, three GB old boys reported as having dismissed the class of 2007 as a bunch of no-hopers and never-would-bes.

The brunt of Sotherton's broadside was intended for Regis – twice a World Championship 200 metres silver medallist and still the British record holder at the distance – who said on the eve of the championships that an excess of National Lottery funding was being lavished on athletes who did not warrant it. "If you spray peanuts around, you get monkeys," he said.

"I'm fed up with ex-athletes dragging us down and saying we're crap," Sotherton retorted. "I'd like John Regis to come up to me and say, 'Well done'. We're not monkeys chasing peanuts. We're doing our best and chasing medals. He's an agent. He's chasing money. Lottery funding is performance-based and you don't get thousands. If you don't perform, it's, 'See you, goodbye'."