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Devonish delivers relay warning

9 June 2007

Marlon Devonish says Britain should avoid rushing its next batch of promising sprinters into the senior international arena.

The Coventry-based Olympic relay gold medallist, 31, said: "There are some good lads coming through, but I think it would be wrong to rush them.

"It might result in irreparable damage, and in the long term it will not be the best policy."

Devonish won the 100m at Friday's Primo Nebielo Memorial meeting in Turin.

Together with Jason Gardener, Mark Lewis-Francis and Darren Campbell - now retired - he won 4x100m relay gold at the Athens Olympics.

Devonish believes the relay team for August's World Championships in Osaka should be built around the remaining trio, provided they are in form.

Last year's European 200m bronze medallist said: "I'm not going to be around forever, but I want to run at the Worlds and in the Beijing Olympics."

UK Athletics want the relay success of Athens to be repeated on home territory at the 2012 London Games, with young sprinters including world junior 100m champion Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Dwayne Grant, Tyrone Edgar, Craig Pickering and Ryan Scott coming through.

Russian coach Michael Khmel was appointed 14 months ago to develop a strategy for the relay events.

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