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World slot handed to Thomas.

Iwan Thomas has been handed a place in Great Britain's squad for the World Championships, starting in Edmonton on Friday.

Thomas had to sweat it out before hearing whether he would be permitted by the International Amateur Athletic Federation to run over 400 metres at the championships. But he got the green light from the IAAF last night and is determined to make the most of it.

Thomas finished second in the British trial race at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium but failed to record the qualifying standard of 45.72sec.The selectors chose Mark Richardson, Daniel Caines and Jamie Baulch when the final additions to the side were announced on Monday.

Unknown to Thomas, who organised a race in Wednesday night's British Milers' Club meeting in Watford where he clocked 45.70secs to qualify for Edmonton, Caines withdrew on doctor's orders that morning due to calf trouble.

That opened the door for the possible inclusion of Thomas as replacement for the world indoor champion. The Welshman had qualified a day late but the IAAF have removed that.

Thomas said: 'I've had two years of hell. I've had so many injuries and setbacks and it looked as though I hadn't made it (the British squad for Edmonton).

'But I've got a chance now and I look at it as an opportunity. When I had the phone call to say I was in I was grinning from ear to ear.

'The way I look at it is that you don't become a bad athlete overnight. I'm a character and a fighter and hopefully I'll do myself justice and do my country proud.'
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Title Annotation:Athletics
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 28, 2001
Words:269
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