Athletics: Devonish backs unbeatable spirit to repeat gold run; ATHLETICS: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Olympic relay hero Marlon Devonish believes he can collect another gold medal when the World Championships in Helsinki get under way this week.
Despite question marks about the fitness of Darren Campbell, who ran the second leg in Athens, Midlander Devonish, plus Jason Gardener and anchorman Mark Lewis-Francis are relishing taking on reigning world champions the United States in the 4x100 metres relay.
Even though their US rivals can call upon much faster individual sprinters, Devonish insists the team spirit of the small British squad will again triumph as it did in Greece.
Devonish, who will race in the 100m and 200m events before the relays get under way, added: 'Their team is almost completely different from last year and they will have to start getting used to handing over the baton.
'We're a lot more confident than we were last year. I think if we concentrate on our change-overs and make them as sweet and as sharp as they were at the Olympics, then we'll have an advantage over the Americans.'
The Coventry Godiva sprinter added: 'Team spirit is very important when you have the Americans shouting down your earholes.
'There's always been a lot of banter between us and the Americans but you don't want them beating you.
'I don't take offence at it. If you look back at past World Championships they've only just beaten us in Edmonton (2001) and Paris (2003).
'They know we are a serious threat, however good they are, but I believe our baton and technical skills are better than theirs.'
Devonish welcomed the introduction of teenager Craig Pickering into the squad which is preparing at a camp in Turku. The 18-year-old from Milton Keynes won the recent European junior 100m title.
'To be completely honest with you, it was a shame he wasn't doing work with us earlier on in the year,' said Devonish. 'He's a competent athlete, he's a good lad and his starting skills are good which have made him confident in himself and also given us confidence.'
Meanwhile, Gardener believes he is approaching the the World Championships in the best condition he has been 'for a number of years'.
The 29-year-old is determined to make the 100m final and challenge favourite Justin Gatlin, of the United States.
'I'm very pleased with my preparations,' said Gardener. 'I've had a good year and I've used this week to really put the icing on top of the cake.
'I'm healthier than I've been for a number of years, so it's great to be well prepared and work on the final details.
'Initially I want to progress further than I did last year which means the final. Once I'm in that final I've got to go for it and that's what I've training to do
Marlon Devonish feels Team GB can again topple the USA