Gardener Started British Olympic Relay With Broken Wrist

London - Jason Gardener has revealed he ran in Britain’s triumphant 4x100 metres team in Athens while oblivious to the fact he was suffering from a broken right wrist - the very hand used to carry the baton on its first leg to Olympic glory.

Gardener had battled his way to Athens following major groin surgery in March after he secured his world indoor 60m crown but was completely unaware of his fractured wrist.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "The things you do for sport.

"I didn’t know I had broken it at the time, I was just in agonising pain doing the weight training that’s necessary to build up strength as a sprinter.

"But I was so focused, I just gritted my teeth and got on with it.

"Since the Olympics, scans have shown serious wear and tear in both wrists and a broken scaphoid bone in my right wrist.

“It’s unbelievable to think I carried that baton with a broken wrist.”

The 29-year-old is one of just three British sprinters to have run under 10 seconds for the 100m but it is as an indoor exponent over 60m that he has established himself.

However, he believes it is only now he is reaching his full potential over the longer distance.

He won the Olympic trials ahead of Darren Campbell and Mark Lewis-Francis and then clocked 10.12secs in his semi-final in Athens to record his fastest time for four years - although it was not enough to see him through to the final.

Gardener’s career has been blighted by injury but the double Olympic triumph of Kelly Holmes has inspired and encouraged him.

He said: "Just think what I could achieve without injury - like Kelly Holmes.

"One injury-free year and look what she did.

“Kelly’s achievement (gold in the 800 and 1500m) is a great inspiration.”

PA International for IAAF