Chambers to race Usain Bolt
Dwain Chambers has been invited to race against world record holder Usain Bolt in a grand prix race in Ostrava in the Czech Republic. The invitation suggests that Chambers is being welcomed back into the athletics fold after winning his recent appeal against the British Olympics Association’s ban for past doping offences.
Chambers had previously been excluded from the Diamond League meetings organised by the Euro Meetings authority. The Ostrava invitation is important recognition of his status as one of Europe’s top sprinters.
Chambers’s agent Siza Agha welcomed the new opportunity. "It is beyond doubt that a huge weight has been taken off his shoulders," Agha said. "He is training hard with renewed vigour and determination to meet the new challenges ahead. He must now step through and deliver consistently what we have seen glimpses of in the last three years."
The Ostrava field is made up of sprinters who have broken the 10 second barrier. Chambers has a personal best of 9.97, some way adrift of Usain Bolt’s world record 9.58. In the world championship final where Bolt achieved that time, Chambers was well down the track in sixth position.
The race is a chance for Chambers to measure his form relative to some of the world’s fastest men. Agha points that that Chambers has been seriously disadvantaged by being unable to compete in major meetings in recent seasons.
"At the moment he's training with three sub 9.9 second runners – and he's competing. But training is very different to competition," Agha said. With the Olympics only three months away, Chambers needs all the race practice he can get.