Chambers aiming to make time before court battle
Saturday 28 June 2008
Dwain Chambers fully expects to come away from the Weltklasse Biberach international meeting here in southern Germany today with the Olympic 100 metres "A" qualifying standard. Chambers ranks that as his top priority before his solicitors take legal action to try to overturn a British Olympic Association lifetime ban preventing the disgraced athlete from competing in Beijing and at future Games.
The 30-year-old Londoner would almost certainly have achieved the required time of 10.21 seconds two weeks ago but a strong headwind spoilt his attempt at Crystal Palace. His victory in 10.24 into a very strong wind was probably worth 10.1 according to track statisticians at the meeting. The weather forecast here should offer almost perfect conditions.
Chambers has, for the present, distanced himself from the legal proceedings. "That's not my field," he said. "I'm confident what I can do on the track and they're confident they can do what is necessary off it."
Chambers, who will also compete over 200m here, faces primarily German opposition in the shorter sprint, although Ernest Wiggins – who is foregoing the US Olympic trials, which started yesterday – will also be in the field. The fact there will be preliminary heats before the 100m final will work in Chambers' favour, giving him the opportunity of a worthwhile warm-up.
Kelly Sotherton and Jade Johnson are among a small contingent of British athletes taking the chance to complete their preparations before the UK National Championships, incorporating the Olympic trials, which begin in Birmingham on 11 July.
Sotherton has proved in recent weeks she has recovered from the kidney infection that has prevented her contesting a heptathlon before Beijing. To counter missing the Gotzis combined events meeting at the end of May, the 2004 Olympic bronze medallist has since contested different disciplines and will today compete over 200m and in the 100m hurdles.
Last Sunday, Sotherton showed her versatility as the British women's team came third in the European Cup. Sotherton ran a fast anchor leg in the final event, the 4x400m relay. "I never thought I would have been in shape to run 51 seconds," she said. "I was really nervous before it started and worrying for the team in case I let them down. But I'm fit and I wouldn't be running if there were any doubts."
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