Hamstrung Dwain Chambers ran through the pain barrier - but he won't admit it
From Neil Wilson's blog
29th July 2010
Why Dwain Chambers failed to challenge the Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre for the 100 metres gold medal here last night can now be revealed. He tweaked his hamstring during the semi-final and was running in pain.
Running through the pain barrier: Dwain Chambers was injured but did not complain
The measure of the new Dwain Chambers is that he never mentioned it after the race. 'The best man won,' he said. 'I have three kids at home and hopefully they’ll be proud of me.'
They will be when they know. He talked in the mixed zone where athletes speak to the media after the race without a word about it, yet within the team were coaches and physiotherapists shaking their heads at his silence. Word leaked only hours later, and not from the man himself.
Charles van Commenee will be well pleased. He has tried to impress on this British team since he became its chief coach that whingers have no place in it. He does not like to hear excuses. He follows the philosophy of the great decathlete Daley Thompson who believed that if you start, you’re fit.
Thompson seriously hurt his back when he slipped on a wet supermarket floor days before he flew to Helsinki for the 1983 world championships. He needed aid climbing the steps of the aircraft. He never mentioned it to a sole outside his closest associates, and not to anybody else until a long time after he won the gold medal.
A single voice in the media tribune last night asked whether anybody else had noticed that Chambers seemed awkward for a stride or two as he walked away at the end of the semis. Nobody had. When he re-appeared for the final, we forgot it.
But re-examining the recording of the race, you notice how tight he is running. His reaction to the gun was almost the fastest, beaten only by the Italian who was to finish last. Lemaitre’s was the slowest by far.
But once Chambers got into the drive phase, he was not smooth. Near the end he was stretching for the line, rather than powering through it, dipping almost too early.
'At the moment I’m a bit blank but I’ll be ok tomorrow,' he said as he wandered away.
Dwain Chambers and Mark Lewis-Francis
He does not have another race here. Van Commenee chose to leave him out of the relay squad because he would be unavailable for the 2012 Olympics. So we have seen the last of him this summer because the organisers of the Aviva British Grand Prix refuse to invite him to Crystal Palace because of his doping past.
Ironically, the organisers of the Brussels Diamond League meeting, another that shuns Chambers, chose yesterday to announce a special race at their meeting next month alongside the 100 metres featuring the clash of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay. It will be called the EU 100 and celebrate the Belgian presidency which started on July 1.
The best sprinters in all EU countries will be invited, and there will be heats and final. Nobody there could be contacted yesterday to check whether that meant Chambers for Britain. Now, of course, they have the perfect get-out. They can invite Mark Lewis-Francis.
Chambers deserves better. He deserves the slate wiped clean. The measure of this new man was seen in the mixed zone last night.
Strange race to watch - saw it on Fox Sports early this morning. LeMaitre gets away slowly and looks well beaten until the last 40m when he emerges and just burns them off. Chambers definitely looked out of sorts and wasn't fluent suggesting something was wrong. Given the above story, it's a remarkable effort by Chambers.
Last edited by Admin on Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add finish photo)