Chambers suffers disappointment at European Indoors

01 March 2013 / 19:19

Dwain Chambers was at a loss to explain his performance at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Gothenburg.

Chambers, who has won silver and gold in the last two editions of the event, could only clock 6.78 seconds to rank 17th, meaning he missed out on making the next round by just two hundredths of a second.

However, British team-mates James Dasaolu and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey were third and sixth fastest in 6.62 secs and 6.65 secs respectively.

Mukhtar Mohammed and Joe Thomas both won their men's 800m heats but there was disappointment for Michael Rimmer, who failed to progress, despite arriving in Sweden's as continent's the top ranked athlete over four laps this year.

Mohammed clocked 1:49.43 while Thomas claimed top spot in his race in 1:51.11. However, Rimmer was clearly out of sorts, finishing his slow-paced race a narrow third with only the top two guaranteed progression.

Thomas was particularly impressive while European number two Mohammed claimed he got sucked into a head-to-head with Sweden's Johan Rogestedt, which ruined his pre-race tactics.

"It's not actually what I wanted," he admitted. "I ran his race because he had a good crowd behind him. 

"I told myself 'don't panic' but I spoilt my race but I'm glad I go through. Indoor is very difficult, you've got a lot of pushing and shoving and you can't go in lane two because you waste a lot of energy."

Jenny Meadows - who missed the Olympics after a nightmare 2012 punctuated by illness and injury - started the defence of her women's 800m title by progressing to the semi-finals.

Meadows, 31, claimed third spot in her heat but admitted there was work to do after a pedestrian paced race.

"I'm better in a faster pace, so I'm really looking forward to the pace stepping up," she said. "If I don't go off in a fast pace in the first 200m I lose the best bit about me."

Holly Bleasdale underlined her status as pole vault favourite by comfortably progressing to her final.

Bleasdale, sixth at last year's London 2012 Olympics, leads the European indoor rankings this season with her 4.77m effort at the UK Championships in Sheffield.

But she took two attempts to clear the 4.36m that secured her progress.

Elsewhere, international newcomer Laura Muir clocked a personal best 4:12.36 to reach the women's 1500m final while Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz only just scrapped into the men's high jump final after failing at 2.28m, a height that is well within his range.

"I don't think I've come top two in the heat before," said Muir.

"I've surprised myself and I'm so glad for this opportunity, to have a championship like this under my belt. I'm learning so much."

© Sportsbeat 2013