Malcolm makes way for Devonish

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The Independent Online

Britain's selection process for next weekend's European Cup in Bremen produced its first shock yesterday, when Marlon Devonish was given the individual 200 metres place ahead of the European indoor champion, Christian Malcolm.

Devonish ran 20.40sec last week to head this year's domestic rankings, but Malcolm was generally expected to take the place after equalling that time in adverse conditions in Helsinki on Thursday night.

Both Malcolm's management company, Nuff Respect, and Britain's chief coach, Max Jones, insisted yesterday that Malcolm was "happy" with the selection, though the athlete was not available for comment himself.

Jones said: "We consulted with both athletes and their coaches and Christian was not completely happy with the idea of running the 200 at the European Cup. In the end it was a case of giving the run to the person who most wanted to do it."

Jones, however, did not deny the rumour that Devonish was so upset at not being named in the main team announcement on Tuesday that he had threatened to pull out of the relay squad. "From a personal point of view, he felt aggrieved because he hadn't been named straight away," Jones said.

Elsewhere, Jones is confident that Katharine Merry, who has withdrawn from tomorrow's meeting in Nuremburg because of a chest infection, would be fit to run in Bremen. But the Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards, who finished the Helsinki meeting with a rib injury, remains a doubt. "We've got one or two able replacements for him if necessary," Jones said, referring to the Olympic finalist Larry Achike and Phillips Idowu. "I wish I had that luxury in every event.''

Following his reinstatement by the IAAF, Mark Richardson has been added to the 400m relay squad in Bremen, subject to fitness.

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