• Athletics

Chambers shows his worth; Gemili books Olympics spot

ESPN staff
June 23, 2012
Dwain Chambers roars with delight after winning the 100m © PA Photos

Dwain Chambers boosted his chances of realising his Olympic dream by winning the 100 metres at the trials in Birmingham, while Adam Gemili must now decide whether to compete at London 2012 after winning a place in Team GB.

Chambers, 34, clocked 10.25 seconds to claim a sixth national title at the Alexander Stadium, with Gemili following closely behind in 10.29s. James Dasaolu came home in third.

The Olympic 'A' qualifying mark of 10.18s time still eludes Chambers, but the veteran sprinter has until July 1 to run the time and book his place at this summer's Games.

After claiming a top-two finish, Gemili's spot is now assured (he had already achieved the Olympic 'A' standard), although the 18-year-old has yet to decide whether to skip the Olympics in favour of racing at next month's World Junior Championships in Barcelona.

When asked if he would compete in London, Gemili said: "It's not definite, but it's quite likely. I will talk to my coach obviously and make the decision officially soon. I can't believe it, the whole atmosphere has been amazing, the crowd have been cheering me every round and to run against people like this; there's a lot of guys who have been in the game a long time and racing with them feels amazing.

"I didn't really feel too much pressure coming into this champs because I am only 18 and I wasn't even meant to be here. Going into the final I was pretty nervous, but I just thought if I run my race hopefully I will finish in the top two and I have. I am over the moon."

Chambers, who recently won the right to compete for a place at London 2012 after his lifetime Olympic ban was overturned, was relieved to leave the trials victorious but admits his next focus is to get the necessary qualifying time.

"I'm just glad to have got that part out the way," he said. "That was the most scared I've been in a long time, I didn't even think I was going to finish in the top three, that's how bad it felt.

"I was just glad I beat the young boy. And I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. As an old man you don't want to be beaten by the young boys, that's a sign that you're declining, so I just did my best to win. I think he [Gemili] is going to go really fast.

"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 [at the European Championships next week]. 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."

World champion Dai Greene put his poor early season form behind him to claim a morale-boosting victory in the 400m hurdles, with training partner Jack Green pipping Nathan Woodward to claim the remaining automatic qualification.

Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu and Shana Cox finished first and second respectively in the women's 400m to book their place in London, and Greg Rutherford (long jump) and Steve Lewis (pole vault) joined them.

Tiffany Porter sealed her place in the 100m hurdles despite finishing behind heptathlon gold-medal hope Jessica Ennis, who won in 12.92s having earlier jumped an outdoor season's best of 1.89m to win the high jump. Andy Baddeley and Ross Murray (1500m) and Sophie Hitchon (hammer) were all additional qualifiers.

Jodie Williams, meanwhile, was in tears as she pulled up with about 15m to run in the women's 100m final with a hamstring injury. The world junior champion will have a scan on Monday to assess the damage but the early prognosis suggests it could be a season-ending injury.

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