Chambers fails to sparkle on return to Crystal Palace

 

Crystal Palace

The last time Dwain Chambers competed in the London Grand Prix, back in 2003, he was celebrating his victory in the 100 metres when the scoreboard flashed up: "1 D Chambers 9.53 world record." The Londoner clasped his hands to his mouth in disbelief, and with good reason.

It transpired that there had been a malfunction with the electronic timing system. The Belgrave Harrier had not become the first man to break 9.60 seconds, beating Usain Bolt by six years. After an age, his winning time was rounded up to a hand-timed 10.0sec.

It was two months later that Chambers tested positive for a frightening cocktail of drugs. He returned to competition after a two-year ban in 2006 but had to wait until the fall of a British Olympic Association bye-law barring all athletes who had tested positive until he was invited back to the annual showpiece at the south London Palace.

At 34, Chambers can no longer claim to be the king of British sprinting. He might have beaten Adam Gemili to win the 100m final at the Olympic trials in Birmingham last month but he has since been eclipsed by the dashing deeds of the young prince.

At the World Junior Championships in Barcelona on Wednesday, Gemili clocked 10.05sec. Had the wind been behind him up to the legal limit of two metres per second, the 18-year-old would have run 9.92sec and gone into the history books as the first teenager to break 10 seconds for the 100m.

If the former Dagenham & Redbridge footballer is the garlic bread of British 100m running – the future – Chambers is in danger of becoming the past. Last night, in the absence of Gemili, who was on junior relay duty in Barcelona, he settled into his starting blocks for the 100m heats with a season's best of 10.25sec. Against world-class opposition, he failed to make an improvement.

As the American Ryan Bailey sped to victory in 10.06sec, Chambers struggled home in fifth, in 10.35sec. At least he was the first British finisher. Mark Lewis-Francis was seventh in 10.55sec and Simeon Williamson eighth in 10.67sec. All three failed to make it through to the final.

That race was won in 10.03sec by Tyson Gay. The American is playing catch up on Jamaica's Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt after undergoing surgery to repair a torn hip.

"I want to win the gold medal," he said, switching his focus to the bigger picture of the London Olympics to come. "I want to come home with a medal. I came up short in 2008. I didn't even make the final. I want to redeem myself."

Asked whether he still considered Bolt as the man to beat, despite his loss to Blake at the Jamaican trials, Gay replied: "I think so. And that's just coming from respect.

"I've been in a race at a major championships where he dragged me to the line. He's been somewhere where no-one else has been.

"First place at the trials, second place, third place… it doesn't matter. He's on the team. He's still going to the Games, and the big show is at the Olympics."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable