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Chambers wins 100m Olympic trials

July 12, 2008 23:40 IST

Dwain Chambers achieved the first stage in his bid to run at the Beijing Olympics when he won the 100 metres final at the British trials on Saturday and must now await a legal ruling on his eligibility.

Chambers, who completed a two-year doping ban in 2006 following a positive test for the designer steroid THG, won impressively in 10.00 seconds, with Simeon Williamson second in a personal-best 10.03 at the Birmingham trials.

In normal circumstances, the first two automatically qualify for Beijing if they have the Olympic qualifying time -- which both have achieved.

However, a British Olympic Association (BOA) bylaw prevents any athlete guilty of a doping offence from being selected for next month's Games.

Chambers is challenging the bylaw in the High Court and will find out on Wednesday if his lawyers have secured a temporary injunction that would make him eligible for the Olympics.

"I've done my part of it and, hopefully, next week things will go well," Chambers told the BBC. "My biggest fear was messing up, I just had to keep cool. I'm so happy."

Chambers claims the lifetime ban, which applies to all sports, is an "unreasonable restraint of trade" but the BOA has pledged to fight for the right to continue to keep drugs cheats from wearing the British vest at any Olympics.


The 30-year-old former world championship bronze medallist now faces an anxious wait to see if the decision, which could open the door for several banned athletes from other sports, goes his way.

"It's going to be tough but I'll keep my spirits high," he said. "I'd like to thank those who have supported me and hopefully it will go my way for Beijing.

"I just want to go and do well for my country. I want to be there and it looks like we are going with a strong team."

British bookmaker William Hill rates Chambers an odds-on shot to win his case and race in Beijing, though he remains a 50-1 outsider for the gold medal.

Chambers had been slow out of the blocks in the semi-final earlier on Saturday before coming through to win in 10.21.

He learned from that experience in the final and started powerfully, though 22-year-old Williamson had the edge over the opening 40 metres.

Chambers maintained his composure, though, and surged through to win the race in a stadium record time.

Williamson finished well enough to ensure he is the only man guaranteed a place in Beijing, while third-placed Craig Pickering will hope his 10.19 performance will impress the selectors enough to secure one of the two remaining slots.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

Mitch Phillips
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