Chambers puts UKA on the spot


Sports Digest/ ATHLETICS: Dwain Chambers insisted he was not trying to "create any nightmares" for UK Athletics (UKA) despite potentially doing just that by winning the 60 metres at the World Indoor trials in Sheffield.

Chambers overcame false starts by himself and Simeon Williamson to claim first place in 6.56 seconds and should secure the automatic berth for the World Indoor Championships in Valencia next month when the first wave of selections are announced tomorrow.

Craig Pickering had been expected to be his main challenger but the European indoor silver medallist finished fifth and it was Williamson who was second in 6.61 seconds, with the pair set to contest the second spot. Assuming the selectors abide by their own criteria, they have little option but to pick 29-year-old Chambers.

UKA had already attempted to ban the athlete - who served a two-year suspension after testing positive for THG in August 2003 - from competing at the English Institute of Sport as they claimed he had retired to take up a career in American football, but he maintained this was not the case.

They then agreed to accept Chambers could compete in Sheffield under International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules as he had informed them of his whereabouts. Chambers, though, insists he just wants to be able to do something positive for the sport. He said: "Why would they want to stop me when I am trying to do something for them? I'm not trying to work against them, I'm here to put British athletics back on the map . . .

"I'm not here to create any nightmares. I'm here to put across a positive stance, help the youngsters be more inspired. How does that work? By putting one foot in front of the other and proving you don't need drugs to win. I'm not the bad guy, I'm trying to be the good guy now."

UKA chief executive officer Niels de Vos insisted their stance was not directed personally at the athlete, "It's not about Dwain. "It's about the principles of the sport.

 Hamilton also suffered racist abuse in China

MOTOR SPORT: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton suffered racist abuse from Spanish Formula One supporters in China last year as well as at the recent Barcelona test, the head of the sport's governing body said yesterday.

International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley told the Sunday Times he had been told by Hamilton's father of incidents at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai last October. "Anthony Hamilton told me there were some people in China who were also appallingly abusive; not Chinese fans, but people who had travelled from Spain."

The FIA warned Spanish circuits and the Spanish authorities after Hamilton was insulted at the Circuit de Catalunya this month that the country risked being stripped of its races if such behaviour continued.

Mosley reminded Spanish fans they could be punished. "If they went to Australia and did something like that, they could get arrested and we would know their names and passport numbers and they wouldn't get into another country," he said. "If, as appears to be the case, a very small number of people are involved, it ought to be possible to stop it immediately. If it isn't, . . . we could pull the grand prix."

O'Carroll powers UCD into semi-final 

CAMOGIE: Reigning Ashbourne Cup champions UCD advance to the semi-finals on February 23rd after a 2-13 to 1-7 win over University of Limerick in Limerick yesterday. Suzy O'Carroll landed 1-10 as UCD withstood a second-half comeback. Thay led by 1-5 to 0-5 at the interval thanks to a 20th-minute goal from Wexford's Una Leacy. UL had taken an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead but relied heavily on frees from Waterford's Áíne Lyng.

UCD raced into an eight-point lead on the restart with O'Carroll and Cork's Rena Buckley on target. UL cut the deficit to four points thanks to an Lyng penalty goal six minutes from the end. However, once Therese Milton was switched on to Lyng, the supply of ball to the Waterford player was reduced and UCD staged a strong finish.

A late goal from O'Carroll and some strong play in the final minutes ensured UCD scored 1-3 and advance to meet Cork IT or NUI Galway. Garda College host UUJ and Waterford IT take on UCC in the other quarter-final.

In Division Four of the National League, Roscommon defeated Louth while Carlow and Kildare drew 3-6 to 1-12.

SCORERS: UCD: S O'Carroll 1-10 (6 frees); U Leacy 1-0; A Maguire, R Buckley (free), A Mahony 0-1 each; UL: A Lyng 1-6 (pen, four frees); E Maher 0-1.