Devonish and Lewis-Francis reunite to take on US forces

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The Independent Online

Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis return to Athens for the World Cup this weekend as the sole survivors of the British 4x100 metres relay squad who claimed the Olympic title there in 2004.

Dwain Chambers and Dwayne Grant will join the pair as the squad represent Team Europe at the 10th edition of the event in the Greek capital.

The four-yearly meeting offers prize money of about £1.5m and brings together the world governing body's regional areas with other handpicked nations, including the United States, fielding teams.

Europe's selectors announced before last month's European Championships that the winning side would be chosen en bloc. Grant, who was runner-up at the British trials, is the only replacement, stepping in for Darren Campbell who has retired, while the fourth Olympian, Jason Gardener, was not considered because of injury.

It is a great opportunity for the Britons to again show their teamwork skills, although they will have tough opposition in particular from the US and the Americas. The latter, who can select from some outstanding Caribbean athletes, will include Asafa Powell, although the Jamaican world record holder has opted out of the individual 100m event, claiming tiredness.

The British women, surprising runners-up in their 4x100m final in Gothenburg, will also carry European hopes in the Olympic stadium. The quartet of Anyika Onuora, Emma Ania, Emily Freeman and Joice Maduaka received their call-up as Russia, who beat them in Sweden, compete by right after winning the Spar European Cup final in June. The European bronze medallist Becky Lyne is the only Briton chosen to compete as an individual and the find of the summer, who finished fifth in last Sunday's World Athletics final, faces a difficult 800m.

The former European Under-23 champion comes up against the reigning world champion Zulia Calatayud and the Commonwealth gold medallist Janeth Jepkosgei, who both defeated her in Stuttgart. The European champion Olga Kotlyarova returns to action for the first time in nearly a month.

"It's going to be another hard race but I want to do well with my season finishing," said Lyne, who was caught napping last week when her rivals struck for home with 300m of the race remaining. The 24-year-old Sheffielder is a quick learner and, in her quest for a sixth sub-two minutes time this season, is unlikely to suffer the same fate again.

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