Search

London 2012: Chambers leads Team GB sprint hopes

10:00 04 August 2012

Great Britain's Dwain Chambers

Great Britain's Dwain Chambers

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Can Great Britain trio mount a challenge against mighty Jamaicans?

Dwain Chambers admitted in the build-up to London 2012 that just getting to the Games felt like winning a gold medal – and now the Islington sprinter is confident he can do it for real.

It will be no easy task. Islington-born Chambers will take his place in the men’s 100m heats on Saturday alongside Team GB’s other hopefuls, Adam Gemili and James Dasaolu, as a rank outsider.

All three are considered outside bets even for a place in the final as they take on the Jamaican world-record holder Usain Bolt – the current 100m and 200m Olympic champion – and his countryman Yohan Blake, the reigning world champion.

The Brits will also face stiff competition from a third Jamaican, Asafa Powell, the former world champion Tyson Gay and his fellow American Justin Gatlin.

Like Chambers, Gatlin tested positive for a banned substance, resulting in a four-year ban in 2006 – but the 30-year-old, who won the Olympic gold in 2004, is set to be in the mix again after running 9.80 to win the US trials in June.

By contrast, Chambers’s form has been poor – the 34-year-old from Archway has not run faster than 10.25 seconds for the last six months, and some questioned his right to be included in Team GB.

However, having had a lifetime drugs ban overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, giving him the chance to compete in front of his home fans, Chambers is targeting a place in Sunday evening’s final – and he is not ruling out a medal.

“If I can sail through the heats comfortably, then get through the semi-final and then get to the final, anything can happen,” said Chambers. “It has to be [the goal]. I’d like to get into the final.

“Current form may show that I’m not in good shape, but physically and mentally I do feel in a position where I can go out there and perform. In previous years, I’ve always been able to.

“I’ve made numerous finals throughout my career. I still feel I have the ability, I’ve just got to do the best I know I can.”

For Croydon’s Gemili, meanwhile, the pressure is off. London 2012 is all about experience for the 18-year-old, who took gold in 10.05 seconds at the World Junior Championships – and Gay feels the young Londoner has the potential to become one of the greatest sprinters of all time.

“I don’t think it’s too much too soon – anything can happen,” Gay said of Gemili. “I just think he has to continue what he’s doing. He’s still rough, still new to all this so I don’t think you should throw a lot at him.”

While Bolt and Blake are the favourites for the 100m Olympic title, there has been speculation over Bolt’s fitness in the build-up to the Games.

He was beaten by Blake in both the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican trials – but Jamaica team doctor Winston Dawes says such fears are unfounded.

“If the conditions are ideal, then we are going to see something fantastic – we may see records go,” he said.

“They are 100 per cent fit and 100 per cent raring to go. They are mentally fit and they are going to be going all out.”

0 comments

Latest Islington Sports News

17:09

Read Layth Yousif’s latest Rewind column on all things Arsenal – from the Allianz Arena to Gander Green Lane

Yesterday, 22:02

Arsenal’s much-missed midfielder Santi Cazorla is set to be out for the rest of the season in another injury blow for Arsene Wenger.

Yesterday, 18:30

Super-lightweight produces masterclass to claim belt

Yesterday, 06:30

Islington Boxing Club’s Aaron Nicely picked up an unanimous decision – despite taking the contest with Hillcrest ABC’s Thanos Kastadonis with less than 24 hours notice.

Tue, 15:46

Kaine Khan and Daragh Murray took home the top honours when Islington Boxing Club handed out their annual end of school term awards for the infant classes.

Tue, 12:43

Islington Admiral United have clinched the Islington Midweek League Premier Division title after a 4-1 victory over Blacksmiths.

Tue, 08:04

The manager of Sutton United has confirmed kind-hearted Arsenal are set to donate a cool £50,000 to the non-league minnows after last night’s game.

Tue, 02:45

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger paid tribute to battling non-league opponents Sutton United after his side’s hard-fought 2-0 FA Cup fifth round victory at Gander Green Lane on Monday night.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now