Search

London 2012: Chambers leads Team GB sprint hopes

10:00 04 August 2012

Great Britain

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 Sport Stories

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil

Former Arsenal player Benik Afobe wants the North London giants to win the Premier League this season.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil

Arsenal triumphed on the south coast here this afternoon with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Bournemouth – complete with a bit of Mesut Ozil magic.

Mesut Oezil  (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal got back to winning ways on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 win in the Barclays Premier League over AFC Bournemouth at The Vitality Stadium.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Calypso Gymnastics Club, based at Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls

It’s one of the greatest challenges facing sports enthusiasts around the country – how to persuade young people, particularly girls, to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline. Picture: Steve Paston

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti worries about the team’s inability to maintain a title challenge.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
John Ryder (grey shorts) defeated Sergey Khomitsky to win the vacant WBA international middleweight title. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo

Islington’s John Ryder overcame an early setback to see off the dangerous Sergey Khomitsky and win the vacant WBA international middleweight title.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Regent's FC

Naim Essaghi and Yemi Buraimoh both netted braces as Regent’s FC brushed aside defending champions Cricklewood Wanderers 4-1 to reclaim top spot in the Islington Midweek League Premier Division.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Shaun Dixon in action for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Shaun Dixon and Ben Noad helped Highgate Harriers to repeat their 2012 success with victory in the South of England Championships on Saturday.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe