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Athletics World Championships: DWAIN STORM; Drum rolls out to lift Brit hopes.

Byline: John CROSS

DWAIN CHAMBERS put himself in pole position for the 100 metres World Championship title - but only after surviving false-start mayhem here last night.

European champion Chambers (left) stormed home in a season's-best of 10.03secs in his quarter- final heat as Darren Campbell and Mark Lewis-Francis also remained on course for tonight's final showdown.

But the event was left in chaos after American Jon Drummond staged a bizarre lie-down protest on the track after being disqualified from the second quarter-final under the controversial new false-start rule.

Tearful Drummond was distraught and refused to leave the track as he angrily made his protest which held up his heat by nearly 50 minutes and also distracted the sprinters in the other quarter-final races, including Chambers, Lewis-Francis and Campbell.

World governing body IAAF have caused uproar in the sport by introducing a "one false start and you're out" ruling and Drummond paid the price, although he insisted the hi-tech machinery on the start line got it wrong.

Trinidad sprinter Ato Boldon, who eventually won the re-run heat, said: "They were told that this would happen, that it was wrong and it would ruin a World Championship. That is what has happened.

"It was a wrong call, the machine made a wrong call and everyone in the stadium could see that, but he was still disqualified."

It clearly left all of the sprinters unsettled and nervous and Lewis- Francis insisted: "They should have let him run and appeal afterwards."

Chambers was so angry that he refused to comment but he won his quarter-final in second gear and is one of the favourites to win gold.

Britain's reigning Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis made a disappointing return to the world stage as she finished fifth.

Sweden's outstanding Carolina Kluft won gold after breaking through the 7,000 points barrier. Lewis, 31, clearly faces a huge task to retain her Olympic gold medal in Athens next summer.

But Lewis, competing on the world stage for the first time in three years after giving birth last year, insisted she will be ready for the Olympics.

She said: "I have always said this is a stepping stone for Athens. I'm only 75 or 80 per cent, but generally I am pleased with my performance."

Veteran Jonathan Edwards stayed on course for a golden farewell as he cruised into tonight's triple jump final.

Olympic bronze medalist Kelly Holmes qualified for tomorrow's 800m final but Jo Fenn didn't make it.

Birchfield Harrier Daniel Caines failed to reach tomorrow's 400m final. And shot-putter Carl Myerscough, one of Britain's best hopes of a medal and the second-best in the world this year, also failed to qualify.

CAPTION(S):

TROUBLE IN THE FAST LANE: Furious Jon Drummond is disqualified, leading to his protest lie-in on the track (inset)
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 25, 2003
Words:468
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