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Athletic: DWAIN'S OUT THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS.

DWAIN CHAMBERS last night confirmed he has won his fitness battle and will set out to reclaim his 100 metres title in the European Championships tomorrow.

The sprint ace injured his thigh in the 100 metres semi-final at the Great Britain trials three weeks ago.

And he was only named in the second wave of GB team selection for the Gothenburg championships after proving his fitness to UK Athletics medical staff.

The 28-year-old, back in action after a two-year drug suspension that saw him stripped of the European crown he won in 2002, said: "I'm definitely running on Monday in the opening heats and we'll see what happens then.

"I've had too much treatment for my liking."

Chambers has posted the second fastest mark by a European this year - 10.07 seconds.

He hopes to regain the 100m title but will be up against it after missing a large chunk of training because of injury.

However, Dwain is determined to prove himself - and is the likeliest challenger to pre-race favourite, Portugal's Francis Obikwelu.

The 100m and 200m British squads headed off to the training track on a specially provided tram and all are aware they will be under the microscope over the next week.

Mark Lewis-Francis is hoping the tide will turn after several years of under-achievement.

He admits he has struggled to find his best form this summer.

But the 23-year-old former junior world champion is aiming to rectify that this week and said: "I've been training really hard although I've not been happy with the way I've been running.

"I'm much stronger since switching to a new coach but I seem to have lost touch with speed."

Lewis-Francis is well aware he could lose lottery funding if his lack of success continues.

However, former UK Athletics performance director Max Jones reckons Lewis-Francis' change of environment and lifestyle since moving from the midlands to Windsor will see him blast back to the forefront of the sport.

Jones said: "It was a big choice but I feel Mark took the right decision when switching from Steve Platt to Tony Lester after last season.

"As a 19-year-old he was racing close to 10 seconds for 100m and constantly showing his world-class potential.

"Now his lifestyle has changed again for the better.

"After the strength training he has undergone in his new regime I think we will see the best of him next year.

"The 200m athletes Marlon Devonish and newcomers Tim Abeyie and Rikki Fifton also know how important it is to re-establish the country's sprint reputation."

CAPTION(S):

No flagging: British ace Dwain Chambers will go for European glory in the 100m' Jones: Backing' Francis: Off form
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 6, 2006
Words:447
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