Lemaitre absence boosts GB chances

The winner of the men's 60 metres final on the opening day of the Indoor UK Trials and Championships in Sheffield today is unlikely to face Christophe Lemaitre when the European indoor title is on the line in Paris next month.

Lemaitre emerged as the leading man of the continental sprint game last summer, smashing through the 10 seconds barrier for 100m and winning the 100m and 200m titles at the outdoor European Championships in Barcelona, but the 20-year-old Frenchman is on the verge of abandoning his plans to go for gold on home ground at the European Indoor Championships, which run from 4 to 6 March.

After a fifth with 6.67sec in a 60m race in Stuttgart last Sunday and sixth in Lievin on Tuesday in 6.69sec, Lemaitre has been ordered to rest for two weeks by coach Pierre Carraz. He was beaten in Stuttgart by Craig Pickering, the 2007 European indoor silver medallist, who will be hoping to continue his revival in Sheffield.