Chambers storms off the track after failing to qualify from European indoor heats
17:07 GMT, 1 March 2013
18:22 GMT, 1 March 2013
Dwain Chambers stormed off the track in anger after being eliminated in the first round of the men’s 60 metres at the European Indoor Championships this afternoon.
The 34-year-old, who won gold in this event in 2009 and a silver medal two years ago, missed out on automatic qualification after coming fifth in his heat.
Chambers’ time of 6.78 seconds – two tenths of a second down on his season’s best – was not enough to guarantee him a place in Saturday's semi-finals as a fastest loser.
Frustration: Dwain Chambers threw off his vest after failing to qualify for the final of the European Indoor Championships
The European indoor record-holder, who served a two-year ban after testing positive for the anabolic steroid THG in 2003, threw his British vest to the floor in frustration and ignored all interview requests as he left the Scandinavium Arena.
Chambers missed the UK trials in Sheffield to protect a back injury and looked out of sorts at the British Athletics Grand Prix in Birmingham three weeks ago, when he finished fifth.
But the 2010 world indoor champion, who said earlier this year he finally feels ‘part of the team again’ after spending half his time training with UK Athletics’ sprint coach Rana Reider at Loughborough University, had insisted he would not compete in Gothenburg if he was not fully fit.
Speaking after his frustration had subsided, Chambers said: 'The performance was not what I expected and I can only express my disappointment because a lot of time and effort was put into me getting to these championships, and I want to apologise to the people whose time I feel I have wasted.
Out of sorts: Chambers, who has won a silver and gold at the last two championships, struggled to a time 6.78s, not enough to see him go through as a fastest loser
'I came here with all the intention
to do well and fight for a medal, which is always what I have been
renowned for doing, but the injury obviously took more out of me than I
had anticipated. So with that I'm really disappointed and feel bad for
letting people down.
'There was no pain. I think what
happened is that I spent all my time getting ready to get on the plane
injury free and I didn't prioritise my time to prepare for the
'I thought I was going to be all
right, but that was the wrong mind process I'd put myself into – I just
wasn't ready. I'm disappointed that I've let people down.
'In situations like these where you
want to do well, you expect to do well and people expect you to do
well…it hurts. I know what I'm capable of doing and it is
disappointing that I am not able to do that today.
'Now I'm just going to cheer on the rest of the team.'
James Dasaolu, however, cruised through
his heat to post the third-fastest qualification time, easing off before
the line to finish second behind Michael Tumi of Italy in 6.62 seconds.
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey also reached tomorrow’s semi-finals with a
season’s best of 6.65 seconds.
No such problems: Fellow Brit James Dasaolu (centre) made it through to the semi-final
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey said: ‘It's a
seasons best – another good run and we'll take it lower, that's the aim.
It’s another opportunity and I think I've been quite lucky indoors. We
haven't really focused on it, so I've done some speed work over the last
‘Dwain and I
have been training together which has really helped. I'm just going to
take each round as it comes. I'm in a GB vest, so it's not about my
personal gain, it's about representing the country and showing what
‘I stumbled out of the blocks a bit, so hopefully in the next round I'll go even better.’
James Dasaolu said: ‘I'm really happy, I wanted to qualify as easily as possible. I don't feel like I've exerted too much energy and I think that's what it's all about – using as little energy as possible. I've run a PB in pretty much every race, so I'm in good shape.
‘In the next round I'm going to be more aggressive and run through the line. It wasn't the quickest of fields, so I knew I didn't have to hammer the start, it was just about getting through.’