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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 August, 2003, 20:14 GMT 21:14 UK
The best and worst of times
Steve Cram
By Steve Cram
BBC Sport

The 2003 World Championships were to my mind one of the best we have seen.

Felix Sanchez
400m hurdles champion Sanchez thrilled everyone with his ability

We saw some fantastic competition and some brilliant races, particularly in the distance events.

Everything was well organised and well supported, too.

We saw the emergence of a new wave of talent that will be around for years to come and there were shocks from start to finish.

On the negative side, we had the unsavoury Jon Drummond incident and, just as bad, the IAAF's inability to deal with it properly.

Kelli White's positive drugs test cast a shadow over the championships, too.

I hope they sort that situation out and take her medals away as soon as possible so we can move on.

As for the British team, you have to say that it was a very disappointing medal return.

The bottom line is that most of the team have come here and not performed to their best - not come to the big party and raised their game.

Once again we (Britain) have not won the medals that we should have done
Steve Cram
The exceptions are Darren Campbell, Kelly Holmes, Hayley Tullett and Lee McConnell.

I know we had bad luck with injuries, but you are always going to have injuries.

We should have taken a chance on a few more youngsters, as other countries have done. Our qualifying standards were very tough, too.

The fact that athletes have not peaked for the Worlds is down to them and their coaches, not UK Athletics.

Maybe we're being too soft in terms of how much support we provide. Maybe our athletes need to be harder on themselves and really understand what you need to operate at the highest level.

We should also look at priorities.

Should we be sending athletes to events like the European Cup and European under-23s if that means that they are not at their absolute best when it really matters?

The Ethiopians have it right. They allow their team to compete at various meets only to a certain point in the summer, and then they pull them into a training camp and say 'no more'.

It is an area we need to look at, because once again we have not won the medals that we should have done.

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