Britain bring Pickering, Edgar on board for Games
AFP - July 20, 2008, 6:04 am
LONDON (AFP) - Following the London High Court’s decision not to lift the ban preventing disgraced sprinter Dwain Chambers from taking part in the Beijing Olympics, the British selectors brought sprinters Craig Pickering and Tyrone Edgar on board on Saturday.
Chambers, who served a two-year suspension for doping, failed to overturn a British Olympic Association (BOA) rule which implements an Olympics lifetime ban on any athlete who has failed a dope test.
That saw the UK athletics selectors draft Pickering and Edgar for the 100m to join the already selected Simeon Williamson in unveiling their definitive list.
Pickering and Edgar had been in a legal limbo since finishing third and fourth in the final of the 100m Olympic trials behind Chambers and Williamson.
“This has been one of the strangest weeks of my life and I don’t ever want another one like it,” said Edgar.
“I’m just thankful the court case is over and grateful for the opportunity.”
But neither Pickering nor Edgar seems a medal contender with their season-best performances of 10.06 and 10.19sec.
For the 4x100 m relay former junior world champion Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, was selected along with Rikki Fifton in a 68-strong athletics squad.
Stephanie Twell, fresh from winning the world junior 1500m title, and Jenny Meadows, who set a personal best in Paris on Friday, join the women’s team which sees new British record holder, Montell Douglas, and Laura Turner as 100m hopefuls, Jemma Simpson joining Meadows and Marilyn Okoro in the 800m, and Susan Scott selected ahead of Hannah England in the 1500m.
Marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe is also on the list despite the 34-year-old facing a race to be fit as she battles a stress fracture of the left femur.
Radcliffe picked up a toe injury during altitude training in New Mexico in February, forcing her to pull out of the London Marathon three months later.
Radcliffe is desperate to make up for failing to finish either the marathon or 10,000 metres four years ago in Athens when she was hampered by a leg injury and stomach upset while being the pre-race favourite.
The British Olympic Association has set a minimum target of five athletics medals and is pinning its hopes on the likes of triple jumper Phillips Idowu, who set the best distance of the year, as well as Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders in the 400 m, Kelly Sotherton in the heptathlon and Goldie Sayers in the javelin.
Then there is Radcliffe, fitness permitting, and the women’s 4x400 m relay team.