Sunday, February 16, 2014

James Dasaolu Injured

(Photograph: Jason Brown/Pinnacle) -- James Dasaolu faces an anxious wait to see whether he will be fit for the world indoor championships at the start of next month after leaving the Birmingham Indoor Arena in a wheelchair, having pulled up clutching his left leg during the men's 60m final. Dasaolu's smile as he departed was rueful; the wave to the crowd regal yet forlorn. Initially he thought he had suffered cramp 15m from the finish line but a statement from British Athletics on Saturday night revealed that he would undergo further assessment on Monday on a suspected thigh strain. It matters little now that Dasaolu's momentum carried him to victory in 6.50sec, ahead of the Jamaican Nesta Carter, who took bronze at the world championships in Moscow last year, in 6.53. Or that in his heats Dasaolu ran 6.47, a personal best and the fastest time in the world this year. Again we are talking about Dasaolu and injuries. It is a recurring theme. Dasaolu suffered several years of pains and strains and niggles before joining his coach Barry Fudge in 2011 and blooming last year, where he smashed through the 10-second barrier for the 100m for the first time and reached the world championships final. But Dasaolu is like a high-performance sports car that only needs a bolt to loosen slightly to send it into the garage. He pulled out of the British championships final last July with cramp, while tightness in his hip forced him to withdraw from a much-hyped showdown with Usain Bolt at the Anniversary Games. The frustrating thing in Birmingham was that Dasaolu had looked so impressive in beating several of the athletes he will hope to meet at the world championships in Sopot in three weeks' time – including Kim Collins, the 2003 100m world champion, and the Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut, who beat him to the European title in Gothenburg last year. Dasaolu deserves to be gold medal favourite – assuming he gets there. But at least one British sprinter was smiling on Saturday night as Dwain Chambers ran 6.56 to finish fourth. "It's probably the second or third fastest time I've run in three years so it shows that it's still there," he said. "I'm Benjamin Button right now. I don't know if my position in Sopot is confirmed yet but I want to be on the team." Chambers believes that Dasaolu might be best advised to give the world indoor championships a miss. "To get ready for Poland at the jeopardy of ruining his season, I would advise him personally to have to sit it out," he said. "He's in good shape and the long-term should be his main objective." There were encouraging signs for the Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford, who equalled his indoor personal best with a leap of 8m as he finished third behind the Russian world champion Aleksandr Menkov. Rutherford, who was competing for the first time since failing to qualify for the final of the world championships in Moscow in August, looked fit and fast after recovering from a ruptured hamstring. "That was absolutely brilliant from my point of view," he said. "There's a few things I've got to iron out but that's the best opening I've had to an indoor season ever and maybe the best opening to a season at all. "Obviously I always want to win but I've got to be serious with these things. I came back from a massive injury last year which I was worried was going to affect the rest of my career and I've managed to jump three jumps better than any British athlete has done this year." In the heats of the men's 60m hurdles, Britain's Andy Pozzi sprang a surprise by running a season's best of 7.57 to beat the world champion David Oliver and the Russian Sergey Shubenkov, who took bronze in Moscow. But the 21-year-old Pozzi, who suffered a hamstring injury during London 2012 and missed 2013 after surgery on his foot, was unable to replicate his form in the final where he finished in sixth position behind the Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who won in 7.55. The British team for the world indoor championships will be named on Tuesday and Nigel Levine made a strong case for inclusion by winning the men's 400m in a lifetime best of 45.71. As did Andrew Osagie who came fourth in the 800m in 1.45.22 sec – the second fastest 800m run by a British athlete indoors after Sebastian Coe. Sergey Bubka's 21-year-old indoor pole vault record was broken by Renauld Lavillenie. The Frenchman, who won Olympic gold at London in 2012, cleared 6.16m in a meeting in Donetsk to beat Bubka's record by a centimetre. Lavillenie, whose best outdoors is 6.02m, described his achievement as "completely unbelievable". He added: "I will need time to get back down on earth. It was a mythical record. I am in a new dimension." Bubka said: "It's great, a historical moment. I'm very happy I passed the baton to such a great athlete and such a great personality and role model." source theguardian