UK Athletics today named 21 athletes in its first wave of selections for the Norwich Union Great Britain & Northern Ireland team that will compete at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain, on 7-9 March.
A second wave of athletes to make up the full team will be announced on Tuesday 26 February 2008.
The Norwich Union Great Britain & Northern Ireland team is:
Women – 60m: Laura Turner (Harrow AC), Jeanette Kwakye (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies). 800m: Jenny Meadows (Wigan & District Harriers), Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet). 1500m: Jemma Simpson (Newquay & Par), Susan Scott (City of Glasgow). 3000m: Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers). 60mH: Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies). Pole Vault: Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers Manchester). Pentathlon: Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers).
In picking the team, the World Indoors Selection Committee requested the opportunity to express its concerns about selecting Dwain Chambers. The statement said:
Based on his performance at the Norwich Union World Trials, the Selection Committee has selected Dwain Chambers for a place in the 60 metres at the 2008 World Indoors in Valencia. In taking this action, however, the selectors wished to issue a statement, which made clear their concerns.
The Committee was unanimous in its desire not to select Dwain. Taking him to the World Indoors deprives young, upwardly mobile committed athletes of this key development opportunity. Our World Class Performance Programme is focused on achievement at Olympic and World level. On this basis, it is extremely frustrating to leave young athletes at home; eligible for Beijing, in possession of the qualifying standard and committed to ongoing participation in a drug-free sport. In contrast, we have to take an individual whose sudden return, especially when considered against his previous actions and comments, suggests that he may be using the whole process for his own ends.
Unfortunately, the committee felt that the selection criteria pertaining to the winner of the Trials, coupled with the manner of Dwain’s performance, left them no room to take any other decision.
We wish all the selected athletes well at the event, but will certainly explore ways in which future selections can be made to match the true “spirit” of our sport.
photos Janos Schmidt