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Chambers gets Spar call-up

22 June 2006

Dwain Chambers has been selected for the SPAR European Cup meeting next Wednesday, with hopes he can help the Norwich Union Great Britain men's team reach the IAAF World Cup later this summer.
The top two teams at the two-day meeting in Malaga will qualify for the money-spinning competition taking place in Athens on September 16-17, with Britain's chances increased with the inclusion of Chambers.

UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins believes it is a possibility despite - after being relegated last year - only retaining their Super League status because of the extra lane in Malaga.

Chambers, now back in action after his two-year drug suspension, is tipped to be a top points earner in both the 100metres and possibly the 4x100m relay.

The 28-year-old Londoner returned to action 10 days ago and posted 10.07seconds, the fastest 100m time by a European this season.

That superb performance at the British Grand Prix in Gateshead saw Chambers earn a call-up despite his lifetime ban from the Olympic Games.

Collins admitted the relay selection had caused a headache.

"There was a dilemma about picking an athlete who is ineligible for the Olympic Games," said Collins, who is adamant only regular team practice and competition can help the relay quartet's attempt to match its 2004 gold in Athens.

Collins is trying to strike a balance of success in the European Cup against his strategic aim, adding: "It's a difficult one, securing results rather than the longer-term objective. We have to get a team that can train together and that can win together."

Collins wants to see the men's squad add to their five European Cup successes - and Chambers could play a major role.

"He can win us points and we can use him and exploit this," Collins added.

With the opportunity of a World Cup place available, a short-term scenario appears to be adopted and Chambers is poised to also line-up in the relay.

"Dwain may be involved in the preparations," said Collins.

But he added: "It isn't as important as the Olympics or World championships."

Collins believes it is a great opportunity for the men to show their mettle after the debacle of Florence, where several top stars under-performed and the men were embarrassingly relegated.

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