Thompson's injury gives Lee another chance

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The Independent Online
Jason Lee, a 26-year-old from Old Loughtonians, will replace Rob Thompson, Great Britain's vice captain and leading goalscorer, who has been forced to drop out of the Olympic squad following injury in last Saturday's training game against Trinidad in which the Hounslow centre- forward scored twice in a 6-0 victory, writes Bill Colwill.

Thompson, 30, who would have made his 150th international appearance in Britain's second game in Atlanta, has ruptured a ligament in his ankle.

Like Thompson, Lee tasted the Olympic atmosphere in Barcelona. He won the first of his 47 caps in 1990, but has been in and out of international favour over the years. He is less of an out-and-out striker than Thompson, although he scored both Britain's goals in a 3-2 defeat by Germany on his first appearance.

Russell Garcia, Britain's only surviving member of the gold medal-winning team from Seoul in 1988, yesterday warned that Atlanta's extreme heat and humidity could take a heavy toll during the Games.

The 26-year-old believes it is the combination of the two elements that will cause problems for competitors despite efforts to simulate the conditions during training.

"Though Barcelona was hot, it was not very humid. Here it is going to be very hot, but it's the humidity that will be the real killer,'' Garcia said. "I expect the hockey games will be played at a very slow rate and the fact we have rolling substitutions will help.''

In an attempt to get used to the expected hothouse conditions, the team underwent several sessions wearing special neoprene suits that made their body sweat more than normal.

Sally Gunnell's bid to make up for lost time is gathering momentum at her pre-Olympic hideaway. The defending 400 metres hurdles champion has successfully completed a third track session at her South Carolina base.

Gunnell, the women's team captain, broke down with an inflamed Achilles tendon in her last race in Lausanne a fortnight ago and was ordered to rest for a week.