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Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Friday, 12 March 2010

Dwain Chambers progresses at World Indoor Championships

ATHLETICS WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Aspire Dome, Doha Date: 12-14 March
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio 5 live. Watch live at telegraph.co.uk


Dwain Chambers in Doha
Dwain Chambers (centre) in cruise-control in Friday's qualifying in Qatar

British sprinter Dwain Chambers made a comfortable start at the World Indoor Championships clocking 6.59 seconds to ease into Saturday's 60m semi-finals.

The 31-year-old is tipped for gold with the world number one American Ivory Williams banned for a drug offence.

Fellow Brit Harry Aikines-Aryeetey also qualified but only after stumbling to third in his heat in 6.72 seconds.

Jenny Meadows impressed on day one in Qatar with the fastest qualifying time to make Sunday's 800m final.

Meadows, world outdoors bronze medallist, strolled into the lead after 100 metres and went on to win in two minutes 0.39 seconds ahead of Mariya Savinova, last year's Russian European indoor champion.

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The 28-year-old Wigan star, who received a number of compliments from UK Athletics chief executive ahead of the trip to Qatar, said: "I am more confident now that I can dominate in this event.

"People look at me more and they are watching me. So I want to produce my best performance. My attitude is good and I have confidence in myself."

Meadows' team-mate, Vicky Griffiths, making her senior international debut, was eliminated after finishing seventh in her heat in a time of 2min 04.90secs.

It was a solid performance on Friday for Chambers, who is looking to improve on the shared silver he picked up in Valencia two years ago and become the first Briton to win the title since Jason Gardener seven years ago.

After clocking 6.50 at the trials last month, Chambers eased down in the final 10 metres to finish with the fastest qualifying time of 6.59.

"I have come here to qualify so that was my main objective. I did not show 100% of me," last year's European indoor champion said.

"I was nervous before the start because I did not know the guys very well. It is not about doing big things in the heats but in the finals.

"There are still two runs to go and I have to stay focused. So far it is going good. I feel two years wiser and I am excited about the next race."

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Trell Kimmons of the US ran the second fastest time of 6.61. He was a late replacement for Williams, dropped from the team on Wednesday after testing positive for marijuana.

There was agony for Britain's two long jumpers, with neither Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford making the final.

Elsewhere, there was almost a big shock for Yelena Isinbayeva, searching for a fourth successive pole vault title, when the Russian needed a third and final nerve-wracking leap at 4.60m to finally come through qualifying.

It came only five months after the Olympic champion was eliminated from the world outdoor championships in Berlin for failing to clear a single height.

Liu Xiang, defending hurdles champion and making his first major championship appearance since withdrawing injured at the 2008 Olympics, qualified behind leading Americans Terrence Trammell and David Oliver, with reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion Dayron Robles also impressing.

Ethiopians Meseret Defar and defending champion Tariku Bekele impressed in the 3,000m qualification, while defending women's high jump champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia and Australia's reigning Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker both cruised through.

Jenny Meadows
Meadows is looking good for a medal in the 800m on Sunday

Andrew Osagie, another British athlete making his debut and the shock winner of last month's UK title, ran a personal best 1:47.40 in a race won by Olympic silver-medallist Ahmad Ismail to make Saturday's 800m semis.

Pole vaulter Steve Lewis, seventh at last summer's outdoor championships in Berlin, was not at his best and had five failures in eight attempts but produced a 5.60m to get into Saturday's final.

In the day's final event before the opening ceremony,Richard Buck failed to come through the 400m semis after impressing in the earlier heats, Helen Clitheroe edged through the 1500m heats as a fastest loser, while Barbara Parker and Gemma Turtle failed to qualify in the 3,000m.

Tom Parsons was edged out of the high jump on countback after clearing 2.26m, while Samson Oni made the final.

Pentathlete Jessica Ennis gets going on Saturday with all five events occurring during the day.



see also
Ennis stays ahead of Doha rivals
13 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Rival's drugs ban boosts Chambers
10 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Where will records fall in Doha?
11 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Chambers victorious in Birmingham
06 Feb 10 |  Athletics
Chambers sets 60m season's best
13 Feb 10 |  Athletics
Olympic athletes set medal target
10 Mar 10 |  Olympics
Van Commenee laments Idowu loss
09 Mar 10 |  Athletics
When is a record not a record?
19 Feb 09 |  Athletics


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