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CHAMBERS IMPRESSES AT AFTERNOON SESSION

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Dwain Chambers
Chambers on course for second Indoor medal
12 March 2010

In the highly anticipated first round of the men’s 60m Dwain Chambers (Daniel Plummer) and Harry Aikines Aryeetey (Michael Khmel) flew through to the semi-finals with convincing performances.

First up was 2009 European Indoor champion Chambers who won his heat comfortably in 6.59, confirming top form shown earlier this season at the Aviva World Indoor trials and UK Championships where he clocked 6.50.

Moments later he was joined on the semi-final start list by teammate Aikines Aryeetey who came home in third place with a relaxed 6.72, enough to qualify but a length away from his seasons best of 6.55.

Chambers said: “It’s very good to be here, qualifying is always the hardest bit, especially the first round and I’m pleased to get it out of the way. I can’t concentrate on times, I’ve got two more rounds to go yet. It felt good, confident and smooth. But I’ve got to keep relaxed and stay cool.”

Aikines Aryeetey said: “That was awful but I’ve done the job. I missed the start, it wasn’t quite there but I can put things right now, I’m expecting to get to the final.”

Not to be outdone by the boys Joice Maduaka (Loren Seagrave) also qualified in the women’s 60m. The six times UK Champion, who was flanked by the two fastest of the race, went through to the semi-final with a sprint of 7.46 but wasn’t happy with the race: “I was asleep on the blocks, it was one of the worst starts ever. So I’m very happy to be through considering the awful start. I now get another chance to correct it, I’ve got to fix that.”

Samson Oni (Trevor Llewelyn) and Tom Parsons (Fuzz Ahmed) mirrored each other during the first leg of the men’s high jump competition. Both achieved 2.18m, 2.23m and 2.26m but Parsons, was eliminated on countback as Oni progressed.

Parsons admitted: “It’s my own fault, I felt good, got close but it didn’t happen. I need to clear qualifying heights first time. I’ve been in this game long enough to know that. I’ve now got to look forward to the Europeans and Commonwealths this summer and use what I’ve learnt.”

Oni said: “I’m pretty happy, that was nerve wracking out there. In qualifying it’s all about mental ability rather than physical, everyone is nervous so it is mind over matter. I’m now in the top eight and anything can happen. The real pressure is over now and there is only one jumper in the world who is consistent at medal height so I’ll be gunning for a medal.”

Helen Clitheroe (Trevor Painter) ran herself into contention in the women’s 1500m heat. She started well, sticking to the shoulder of the leading three in the early stages and held on to take fourth and a ticket to the next round in 4:13.97 despite evading a faller in the early stages of her race..

She said: “That is not what I wanted. I was involved in the fall early on, I panicked abit and lost some rhythm. It was a strong finish but should have been better for an automatic qualifying.”

Charlotte Best (George Gandy) however failed to convert her recent form into international performance on the track in Doha in her respective heat of the 1500m.

The Loughborough based athlete, who trains with World 1500m silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey, couldn’t react as the pack pushed on and found herself in eighth place with 4:16.40:“I’m disappointed that I didn’t do better. It was hard but I felt fine until the last 400m then my legs went. I’ve learnt lots of lessons and it was great to compete in the field and see what Lisa has to compete against all the time. Now I will go home, go to warm weather training, focus on the 8000m for the Europeans and the commonwealths.”

Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff) had a best jump of 7.80m during the first qualification group of the men’s long jump. After a 7.35m start and a no jump to finish, he was left in fifth place and ended his World Indoor Championships campaign.

The Lee Valley based athlete said: “This is my first competition with my new coach Dan and my new training set up at Lee Valley. We never intended for the World Indoors to figure in our plans but after some good training it gave us a chance to see where I’m at with Dan. This is a longer term project, I’ve been doing lots of things wrong, which is starting to change.

“Dan has so much to give and has amazing experience I’m learning from him every minute. I’ve never felt more comfortable in a competition than I have with Dan sat there today. So we’ve just got to keep on working and stick with our main focus of a medal in Barcelona.”

Fellow long jumper and 2008 World Indoor silver medallist Chris Tomlinson (Frank Attoh) competed in the second group and made his individual bid for a place in the final knowing what he had to beat from the previous group’s efforts.  He began with 7.62m, followed up by a no jump and finally 7.75m, neither of which were long enough for qualification.

He said: “It’s not good because I obviously didn’t qualify. The no jump would have been the qualification but that’s life. I’d like to get in abit more competition practise before major competitions but overall I’ve had a good indoor season.

“I wanted to come here and make the final but unfortunately I haven’t. I have to go and look at what’s going wrong because I’ve been jumping well in training but it didn’t transfer today.”

British indoor and outdoor record holder Kate Dennison (Steve Rippon)left the pole vault competition early following a below par performance considering her recent form and new indoor personal best of 4.60m set at the Aviva Grand Prix.

She reached 4.20m, 4.35m but fail three times at 4.45m and said: “It just didn’t happen today, I just didn’t jump well. I was the focus of the season and it’s really frustrating because I was in ninth place so my no height at 4.25m cost me a spot in the final.”

Enthusiastic US based athlete Tim Bayley (John Bigg/ Chris Puppione) ran well but lost out on tactical errors in the men’s 1500m. He clocked 3:42.57, finished in fifth place and concluded: “Well that was close but no cigar I’m obviously disappointed. I didn’t get myself into the right position, I closed fast which was good but I was out of position.

“I need to move earlier. I really think I’m like a fine wine and I’m getting better with age. I was excited and proud to be in the GB kit and I’ll be back to the UK in early May so I’m fully prepared for the trials so I’ll be staking.”

Barbara Parker (Sean Burris) ran a tactical qualifier in the Women’s 3000m and had looked sure for a fastest loser place in the final after a strong run. But after a very quick second race her 9:01.52 fifth place finish wasn’t enough to take her through.

The US based athlete spent the early stages of the 15 lap race holding a position in the middle of the ten strong group before moving slowly through and eventually taking the lead, which she held until the bell. It was only with one lap to go that she lost ground and came through in fourth place.

She commented: “I’m so mad at myself, I felt awesome out there. Jenny’s captain speech last night inspired me to go for it and run the race however I should have run harder to be sure of the automatic qualifier. I’m so angry at myself.”

Gemma Turtle found international competition slightly beyond her reach in a fast second 3000m qualifier. After a struggle for positions on the first bend she tried to maintain position in the middle of the cluster but fell behind the action soon after and finished eleventh in 9:17.55.     

“I went out to give myself every opportunity, I stayed up there and got myself into the top four because I wanted to give myself a chance but it didn’t feel right. I must have over exerted myself in trying to take that chance. I’ve got to go away and work out why it felt so hard and get it right for my main focus which is the 10k at the commonwealth games.”  

Scott Overall (Robert Chapman) suffered in the men’s 3000m despite a good start. His time of 8:08.02 was only enough for eighth place although he promised more after a decent start. His chance slipped away during the final laps as Bernard Lagat (USA) took to lead and the race with a seasons best of 87:59.99.  

Gemma Bennett’s World Indoors campaign ended in the first round as she finished fifth in the first heat with 8.20. The Lee Valley based athlete, who is coached by Lloyd Cowan, found herself out of the running in the 60m hurdles as Ginnie Powell (USA) lead the race in 8.07.

She said of the race: “I’m bitterly disappointed, that’s not acceptable in my eyes. It wasn’t good enough, I need to get back into some tough training and redeem myself in Barcelona.”

Following his convincing outing during the morning session Richard Buck (Michael Khmel) but didn’t do himself justice in the afternoon follow-up.  Although he started well, his competitors stepped the pace up early in the race and Buck lost ground when he ran into the back of Brenes (CRC).

He came home in fifth with 47.70 and said: “I’ve had a problem getting race sharp because I missed most of 2009 with injury. Obviously I would have liked to have done better but it’s a world semi-final so it’s good to have got this far. I’ve worked hard this season and don’t get me wrong I wish I could have done better but I can take the few positives from this.”