The last time Dwain Chambers lined up for a 100m race on home soil he was still chasing his Olympic dream. He proceeded to win the final of his event at the British team trials for Beijing, clocking 10.00sec flat, but then suffered the tribulation of failing to obtain a High Court injunction against the British Olympic Association by-law which precludes reinstated doping offenders from representing Great Britain on the Olympic stage.
Twelve months on, Chambers was back at the same Birmingham track last night, opening his bid for selection for next month's World Championships in Berlin. Drawn in heat four of the 100m on day one of the Aviva World Trials and UK Championships, the Belgrave Harrier (right) powered decisively clear of his rivals before taking his foot off the gas in the last 30m and crossing the line in 10.20sec – 0.28sec ahead of his closest pursuer, Scottish champion Nick Smith.
It is unlikely to be quite so comfortable for Chambers today when it comes to the semi-finals and the final. The 31-year-old European indoor 60m champion was the fastest heat winner but Simeon Williamson also looked in fine fettle, easing to victory in his race in 10.24sec. Tyrone Edgar, a semi-finalist in Beijing was next quickest, with 10.27sec.
Williamson pushed Chambers all the way to the line in the final at the Olympic trials here 12 months ago, clocking a nifty 10.03sec in the progress. His intention this time is to attack both the British number one and the 10-second barrier.
"It's good rivalry," Chambers said. "It keeps me on my toes. Simeon's very excited about his chances of getting to me but I'm not going to have any of these young boys coming to beat me. I'm getting kind of old nowadays but I'm definitely confident.
"I'm in shape. I can see a repeat of last year, 10 seconds flat. If the wind's right, we could dip under 10. That would be nice. Hopefully, I can carry a lot of the other guys under 10 seconds, get the 100m out of the way, get myself ready for the 200m and then continue with Project Bolt [Chambers' plan to beat Usain Bolt]."
That grand project looks like it will have to wait until the World Championship title is on the line in Berlin, an invitation for Chambers to pit himself against Usain Bolt in next Friday's Golden League meeting in Paris having failed to materialise – thus far, at least. "It's just a bit of a laugh, really," Chambers said, of the summer mission he boldly declared after his trail-blazing indoor season. The Londoner has beaten Bolt on the training track but that was back in 2006, before the Jamaican became a 9.69sec 100m runner.Reuse content