Selectors expected to play it safe with Chambers
Tuesday 12 February 2008
Whether Dwain Chambers is to be or not to be in the British team for next month's World Indoor Championships in Valencia will be revealed this afternoon. And while it may be nobler for UK Athletics to resist his claims – given he is ineligible for Olympic competition after serving a two-year doping ban and has subsequently harmed the sport with his comments – it will be safer for the selectors to confirm the 60 metres place that, in normal circumstances, he would have claimed automatically by Sunday's victory at the Norwich Union World Indoor trials.
The only leeway available to the selectors, who met for an unusually long time in Birmingham yesterday, would have been the clause citing "exceptional circumstances", which might have offered them justification for selecting others with Olympic aspirations. But if Chambers is not named in the team, he will certainly have his name down in the High Court before too long, as his solicitors have a writ prepared which is aimed at enforcing his participation.
Chambers will also learn this week whether he will be welcomed back into the fold for the Norwich Union Indoor Grand Prix, on Saturday in Birmingham's National Indoor Arena, where last Saturday week he earned a trials qualifying time with victory in the Birmingham Games.
The 29-year-old sprinter, whose winning time of 6.56sec on Sunday makes him the third fastest in the world this year, one place ahead of fellow Briton Craig Pickering, made it clear he would like to take part in the main domestic indoor meeting of the season. No invitation has yet been extended but a spokesman for the meeting promoters, Fast Track, confirmed yesterday three of the 16 60m places were still to be filled.
The field already includes the man who finished second at the trials, Simeon Williamson, and Pickering, fifth on Sunday, who will be hoping that his previous record – he has already won in Glasgow and Stuttgart this season – may give him the second, discretionary place for Valencia.
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