Chambers selected for Team GB
15:25, 03 Jul 2012
Dwain Chambers was today named in the Great Britain athletics team for London 2012, 12 years on from his last appearance at an Olympic Games, but the stunning pick of Lynsey Sharp as the only athlete in the women's 800 metres provided the headline selection.
Controversial sprinter Chambers will compete over 100m in the capital next month after being included in a 71-strong squad for the Games named by the British Olympic Association this afternoon.
Chambers, 34, finished fourth in the 100m in Sydney in 2000, but has not featured in the Olympics since following his two-year suspension for systematic drug use and the imposition of the BOA's lifetime ban. However, the BOA ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport earlier this year, paving the way for him to compete at a home Olympics.
But the real story came in the women's 800m as former World Championship bronze medallist Jenny Meadows was among four athletes with the 'A' standard time left out in favour of Sharp.
Chambers was not able to secure his place in London automatically as, despite winning the trials in Birmingham, he failed to run the 'A' qualifying standard of 10.18 seconds.
However, that victory ahead of his domestic rivals as well as his past performances have proved enough to gain selection.
His place on the team had looked a certainty ever since he was given the option of not chasing the qualifying time at last week's European Championships in Helsinki.
Chambers was joined in the 100m by teenager Adam Gemili, the British number one this season, and James Dasaolu, who were second and third at the trials and have both run the 'A' standard.
Chambers said: ""It is a real honour to be selected as part of Team GB today.
"For me representing my country in an Olympics is a privilege that should never be taken for granted. To be given the opportunity to do so in my home town has been a dream that at times has seemed very distant and is now a reality.
"It is now my responsibility to prepare fully for the 100m, the relay, to support all my fellow athletes and all my other colleagues within Team GB. It is a very proud day and I thank the selectors for the confidence and faith they have placed in me."
Edinburgh athlete Sharp won last month's trials in Birmingham and then went on to win silver at the European Championships in Helsinki, but she did not have an 'A' standard.
Picking her, therefore, meant selecting no-one else as athletes with the 'B' standard can only be selected if no-one with the 'A' is chosen.
Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson, the British number one and two this year who performed poorly at the trials, were also left out, as was Jemma Simpson, who was second in Birmingham.
Meadows, who has not raced in 2012 because of an Achilles injury, had indicated before the selection she would appeal if she was left out and she is unlikely to be the only one to do so.
UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee has already said he is bracing himself for a "heap of appeals" from desperate athletes.
Any appeal must be lodged within 24 hours of the team announcement and then heard within 48 hours. The appeals panel consists of UKA chairman Ed Warner, UKA president Lynn Davies and an independent barrister.
Okoro was included in the 4x400m relay squad.
Van Commenee, who has set a target of eight medals, including one gold, for the Games, said: ''I am very proud to have nominated such a strong team of athletes to Team GB. Our collective philosophy since Beijing has been one of raising the bar as we work towards London 2012.
"I believe this team is well prepared to go out there, be competitive and achieve on the greatest sporting stage in front of a home crowd."
Chambers was joined in the squad by another athlete previously barred due to a drugs ban, with Carl Myerscough selected in the shot put.
Elsewhere, European champion Rhys Williams took the third spot in the 400m hurdles, world bronze medallist Andy Turner the third spot in the 110m hurdles and Michael Rimmer joined Andrew Osagie in the 800m.