Dwain Chambers closing in on Olympic selection


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The Independent Online

Dwain Chambers seems certain to be selected for the British team at the Olympics after being told he does not need to chase the 'A' qualifying time in this week's European Championships.

Chambers won the 100 metres at the weekend's Olympic trials in Birmingham, but was unable to achieve the 'A' standard of 10.18 seconds to secure automatic qualification for London.

The 34-year-old was therefore expected to compete in the individual 100m in Helsinki this week to get the time before Sunday's deadline, but was today only named in the 4x100m relay team when UK Athletics cut their initial squad from 109 to 82 athletes.

Teenager Adam Gemili is the only sprinter to be guaranteed a place in the 100m in London after finishing second behind Chambers at the Alexander Stadium after running 10.08secs in Germany earlier this month.

The other two places now look likely to be handed to Chambers and James Dasaolu, who was the only other man to have the 'A' standard and finished third at the trials.

Chambers had previously been banned from the Olympics under the British Olympic Association's bylaw which barred drugs cheats for life, but that bylaw was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport earlier this year.

Speaking after Saturday's win, Chambers - who had to apologise for swearing into a television camera after crossing the line, said: "I would like to be selected outright.

"If there's a way the selectors can look on my history I will gladly take that opportunity, but hopefully I am able to secure the qualifier in Helsinki.

"It's been rough this summer. Running 10.18 is something that I could do with my eyes closed, but for some reason it's just not materialising this year.

"It (the dream) is alive, there's a rainbow but the pot of gold ain't there yet, I've still got to get the qualifying time."

Although Chambers does not possess the "current" A standard - which relates to times set since April 1 this year - it was noticeable that UKA head coach Charles van Commenee referred to him having 22 other A standards when attempting to explain the selection policy before the trials.

Having those older standards also offers hope to the likes of Lisa Dobriskey, Hannah England and Jenny Meadows, who will all need to rely on being picked when the selection panel meets on July 2, the day after the European Championships finishes and the day before the Olympic team is announced.

Dobriskey finished second in the trials over 1,500m as she continued her recovery from potentially life-threatening blood clots on the lungs, but has decided to focus on her training rather than chasing times in Helsinki.

England, her successor as a World Championship silver medallist, did not compete in Birmingham as she recovers from a spike to her Achilles but will be confident of being selected, while 800m specialist Meadows - who won bronze at the World Championships in 2009 - has not raced all year due to injuries and will need to prove her fitness in Helsinki.

Other athletes will hope to have already done enough to be selected, with European and Commonwealth champion Andy Turner (110m hurdles) and Michael Rimmer (800m) both finishing third in the trials. Neither will compete in Helsinki.

Long jumper Lorraine Ugen, who was just one centimetre from booking her Olympic place in the trials, could not be selected for Helsinki as she was not in the original squad, so the 20-year-old will look to jump 6.75m or better at a low-key meeting in England this week.

A statement from UK Athletic read: "The original squad size of 109 athletes has been reduced to 82 following the weekend's Aviva 2012 Trials.

"Track athletes who have gained automatic qualification for Team GB and other selected athletes have been de-selected in order to focus on their preparations for the Olympic Games.

"Field event athletes have been permitted to compete in Helsinki should the additional competition opportunity benefit their overall build-up."

Aviva GB & NI Team squad:


100m: Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Mark Lewis-Francis

200m: Chris Clarke, Danny Talbot

400m: Richard Buck, Luke Lennon Ford

800m: Mukhtar Mohammed, Gareth Warburton

1500m: James Brewer, Tom Lancashire

5000m: Mo Farah, Rory Fraser, Mitch Goose

10,000m: Keith Gerrard, James Walsh

3000m SC: Luke Gunn, Rob Mullett, James Wilkinson

110m H: Richard Alleyne, Gianni Frankis, William Sharman

400m H: Rhys Williams, Nathan Woodward, Rick Yates

High Jump: Robbie Grabarz, Samson Oni, Tom Parsons

Pole Vault: Luke Cutts, Max Eaves, Andrew Sutcliffe

Long Jump: JJ Jegede, Julian Reid, Chris Tomlinson

Triple Jump: Larry Achike

Shot Put: Carl Myerscough

Discus Throw: Abdul Buhari, Brett Morse, Lawrence Okoye

Hammer Throw: Mark Dry

Decathlon: Ashley Bryant

4x100m: Aikines-Aryeetey, Dwain Chambers, Tyrone Edgar*, James Ellington, Christian Malcolm, Danny Talbot

4x400m: Buck, Michael Bingham, Lennon Ford, Nigel Levine, Rob Tobin, Conrad Williams


100m: Jeanette Kwakye*, Ashleigh Nelson,

200m: Abi Oyepitan,

400m: Lee McConnell, Kelly Massey, Nicola Sanders

800m: Jenny Meadows, Lynsey Sharp, Jemma Simpson

1500m: Charlene Thomas

5000m: Julia Bleasdale, Helen Clitheroe, Stephanie Twell*

10,000m: Jo Pavey, Charlotte Purdue, Gemma Steel

3000m SC: Hatti Archer

400m H: Meghan Beesley

High Jump: Isobel Pooley

Pole Vault: Sally Peake

Long Jump: Abigail Irozuru, Shara Proctor*

Shot Put: Eden Francis

Discus Throw: Francis, Jade Nicholls

Hammer Throw: Sophie Hitchon, Sarah Holt

Javelin Throw: Goldie Sayers, Laura Whittingham

4x100m: Montell Douglas, Hayley Jones, Kwakye, Nelson, Anyika Onuora

4x400m: Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Massey, McConnell, Christine Ohuruogu, Sanders

*Participation to be confirmed Tuesday morning