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Dwayne Chambers

Born 1978    Events: 100m, 4x100m

PB: 9.97 (1999) SB: 10.25

A momentus season in the career of Dwayne Chambers from the moment he was cleared to make a return to the Olympic stage has turned so bizarre as he has yet to really get going and commit some fast times on the track. Nevertheless, when the stakes were high and pressure immense on him to perform he turned equal to the challenge and delivered a performance worthy of a champion to fend off the menace of teenage sensation Adam Gemili in a fierce final at the UK Trials, executing a nearly perfect race from gun to tape.

Poor conditions slowed down times considerably so his winning time of 10.25, a SB, is not easy to interpret over its merit but if Gemili’s sensational dash to the world junior title in Barcelona is anything to go by then Chambers himself must be effectively lying on the fringes of sub 10 secs territory. Further, a much different route through a lengthy hard training spell overseen by Stephen Francis in Jamaica may have taken longer to bed in and been intended towards a later peak into his season that falls in with the Olympics.

At any rate, his form and prospects may be shrouded in obscurity until he settles in his blocks for his first runout down the home straight but his showing in Birmingham serves a reminder that his prowling insticts are still sharp and he can still make things happen, with even a final place and a return inside the 10 secs territory still within his grasp.

Chambers came an agonizing mere hundredth of a second shy of silverware in Sydney back in 2000 but the dynamics of the event has changed substantially since and even a time in the low 9.8 secs could not turn sufficient in that aspect.

Adam Gemili storms to the world U20 title in a championships record of 10.05 secs in Barcelona

Adam Gemili

Born: 1993     Events: 100m, 4x100m

PB: 10.05 (2012)

Just as the more established sprinters uncharacteristically lacked firepower this term, a New Hope emerged out of virtually nowhere in the shape of burgeoning teenager Adam Gemili to set the British scene alight through a sensational victory in a CR and UK U20 record of 10.05 at the World U20 Championships in Barcelona, very much like Luke Skywalker out of the planet of twin suns in Star Wars.

His performance was so breathtaking that swiftly captured the attention of the very great, either present or past, such as Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Maurice Greene who were quick to laud the talent and potential of the young Briton as well as tipping him to move on to great things in the future.

Yet, it is not only his marks, that 10.05 translating easily into the 9.9s on a decent tailwind, but also the rate he learns his trade and progresses at that feel so frightening and fire the imagination, possessing a fiercesome drive over the last 50m as Gay points out.

Gemili will be riding on the buzz and momentum of his triumph in Barcelona and could well set his sights even on a place in the final eight, always focussed and composed, while the super fast track and highest calibre line-ups could propel him to break ground inside 10 secs, first ever U20 in history if so. Pressure won’t be on his shoulders to perform and the taste of senior battle at close quarters in Birmingham will stand him in good stead –  which can make him very dangerous in turn.

James Dasaolu

Born: 1987    Events: 100m, 4x100m

PB: 10.09 (2009)    SB: 10.18

Plagued by injuries in previous seasons, James Dasaolu never really got to show his quality despite the occasional fast time but now he seems to have learnt his way round the ropes and how to manage his body and resources to good effect.

A battling third in Birmingham just ahead of Simeon Williamson, combined with a ‘current’ A mark of 10.18 (SB), proved enough to earn him an individual spot on the British team and he is arriving in London with injected impetus on a swift 10.19 secs in Luzern despite a stumble out of his blocks, rendering his run worth a lot more.

He has moved in the shadow of Chambers and Gemili all season, maybe even thought of as simply the ‘third man’, but this guy has got loads of speed in his legs and could even emerge as top Brit through the rounds, with the semifinals and a time in the 10.0s well within his reach.

Christian Malcolm is caught on the line by Christophe Lemaiter in Barcelona 2010

Christian Malcolm

Born 1979    Events: 200m, 4x100m

PB: 20.08 (2001)   SB: 20.46

Can ‘captain’ Malcolm fulfil his undisputable talent and finally find his way into the medals after a long bumpy drive and wandering on the fringes for years? He looked on the verge of mounting the global summit when he breezed to his lifetime best of 20.08 in the semifinals in Edmonton in 2001 but a below par final ending up in fifth looks to have ever held off his impact.

A fifth place in Beijing, second time in Olympics after an identical placing in Sydney, followed on by a marginal defeat to gold by Christophe Lemaitre at the Europeans in Barcelona showed to draw him firmly back on track, yet a disastrous elimination in the first round heats in Daegu brought him to a temporary halt again.

This term he emerged as flowing and as good as ever during his build-up, culminating in a UK-leading 20.46 secs in Resensburg (Germany), but after a strong display through the flights of the 100m in Birmingham he has not looked quite the same.

So has there cropped up some issue or he simply fallen back on some late training stint to bolster up his London bid after ensuring of a place on Team GB? That is going to show in due time but if he is firing on all cylinders he could be capable of plenty of damage come London, even a dark horse for that bronze up for grabs behind the standout Jamaican duo of Bolt and Yohan Blake.

James Ellington

Born: 1985      Events: 200m, 4x100m

PB: 20.52 (2011)   SB: 20.55

‘E-Bay man’ James Ellington has been quietly building up a good reputation and record to go one better and throw up a surprise win in a SB of 20.55 at the UK Trials to seal his place on the British team, getting it right when it matters. He has shown useful consistency down the season but he will need to find another gear and, at least, a time in the low 20.4s to turn more competitive on the track of the Olympic stadium at Stratford. First target, to go one better than Daegu where he didn’t make it past the first round.

Martyn Rooney

Born: 1987   Events: 400m, 4x400m

PB: 44.60 (2008)  SB: 44.92