Thomas has task of proving fitness

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The Independent Online

Iwan Thomas, the European and Commonwealth champion, is looking for a race abroad in his battle to achieve the 400 metres qualifying standard for next month's World Championships in Edmonton.

When the British selectors met yesterday morning, their selection criteria forbade them naming Thomas, second behind Mark Richardson in Sunday's trial race in Birmingham, as he has not reached the qualifying standard of 45.72sec this year.

Competition rules for Edmonton say performances achieved from New Year's Day last year are acceptable and Richardson meets that criteria while Thomas does not.

This morning UK Athletics announce its first selections, with the final additions to the Canada-bound contingent being added next Monday. The selectors have reserved the right to make value judgements in exceptional circumstances.

This is almost certain to see Richardson, the Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis, Kelly Holmes and Dean Macey included. But Thomas, battling back from a foot injury, was not selected to run in the individual Olympic 400m and only competed in the 4x400m relay.

He could, like other borderline cases, compete in tomorrow's Bedford International Games. But Thomas said: "I will not be going to Bedford... I'm looking for a race this week in either Sweden, Salamanca or Germany. The weather abroad is bound to be much better and believe me, that helps a lot."