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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
Bailey bids to help Lewis-Francis
Mark Lewis-Francis and Donovan Bailey at the 2001 World Championships
Bailey (right) believes he can help Lewis-Francis improve
Former Olympic champion Donovan Bailey has offered to take Mark Lewis-Francis under his wing and turn him back into a force in world sprinting.

The 22-year-old was knocked out of the second round of the World Championships in Helsinki in a time of 10.53 seconds.

Bailey told the Guardian newspaper: "I want to help - Mark's got it physically and mentally. But he's being let down by the infrastructure and coaching.

"It's obvious Mark is frustrated. He's talented and shouldn't waste it."

Bailey tipped Lewis-Francis to win gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004 after he won world junior 100m and 200m gold in 2000 and was the fastest 17-year-old in the world.

But the Canadian sprinter now believes he and his coach Dan Pfaff are the best option for Lewis-Francis, who has not improved his personal best for three years and has yet to reach a major championship final.

"Dan and I would sort him out," he said. "He would know what it takes to turn Mark into a champion."

Bailey's offer comes just a few days after Lewis-Francis was criticised by two leading sprint coaches.

He was accused of being too "comfortable" with long-term coach Steve Platt by former Olympic champion Maurice Greene's mentor John Smith.

Trevor Graham, coach of Olympic and world champion Justin Gatlin, backed that up by accusing the Briton of "not fulfilling himself".

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