Chambers and Gemili are in wonderland after sparkling sprint performances
21:29 GMT, 4 August 2012
Together they represent the potential future of the sport and its tainted past.
But both the fresh innocence of the
smiling 19-year-old Adam Gemili and the more hardened face of Dwain
Chambers received generous welcomes and produced superb performances at
the Olympic Stadium.
Chambers, who received the all-clear
to resume his Olympic career only in April after the British Olympic
Association's lifetime ban on drugs cheats was overturned, made the most
of his reprieve, producing one of his greatest performances since a
two-year ban for using steroids, winning his heat while easing up in
Promising: Adam Gemili impressed for Team GB
Gemili, who was still hoping for a footballing contract at Dagenham and Redbridge in League Two and was on loan at Thurrock in the Isthmian League last autumn, also trod an unlikely route to these Games.
Yesterday he chased home former world record holder Asafa Powell in his heat, the Jamaican running 10.04sec to Gemili's 10.09sec, the Briton qualifying in second.
Neither might have imagined being here in today's semi-finals, where they will be joined by compatriot James Dasaolu, who qualified alongside Usain Bolt, finishing third in 10.13sec.
Warm reception: Dwain Chambers produced one of his best performances
Chambers was fourth the last time he stepped on an Olympic track to run in the 100m in Sydney 2000, a result that began to plant the seeds of doubt in his mind and led him down a route that would end up in him taking designer steroids.
He has acknowledged his guilt and is contrite, unlike Americans Justin Gatlin, competing here in the 100m, and LaShawn Merritt, who limped off after 150m of his heat, thus sparing us the indignity of an unrepentant drug cheat winning the 400m.
Chambers said: 'I wasn't worried about the reception. I was more worried about my performance, coming this far and not doing it. The welcome was, “Wow! What's that” I wanted to make sure I did my team, my family and supporters proud.'