Athletics: YOU CAN'T REST ON YOUR LAURELS; There's No Gold Comfort for Olympic Sprint Relay Stars

The Mirror (London, England), July 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

Athletics: YOU CAN'T REST ON YOUR LAURELS; There's No Gold Comfort for Olympic Sprint Relay Stars


Byline: By LEE WEST

BRITAIN'S Olympic relay stars have been warned there is no guarantee they will stay in the team for next month's World Championships in Helsinki.

The quartet of Jason Gardener, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis produced a sensational performance in Athens to win the 4x100m - and beat the Americans.

All four are running at the Norwich Union World and Commonwealth Trials and AAA Championships that start in Manchester today. But youngsters such as Craig Pickering, 18, who beat Campbell earlier in the season, and European Cup 200m winner Christian Malcolm are putting the pressure on the selectors with the season's major championship only a month away.

Lewis-Francis tops the 100m rankings and meets defending AAA champion Gardener this afternoon in the best event of the opening day. But the relay squad the selectors will take to Helsinki will be a combination of the top 100m and 200m runners and the final team might not be the same as Athens. Dave Collins, the sports performance director, said: "This weekend will be fascinating to see the young guys against the old guard in the sprints.

"You change a winning team at your peril, but if there are people who can run faster and can integrate in, you don't consider them at your peril. …

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