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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 August, 2004, 22:44 GMT 23:44 UK
Defiant Campbell hits back
Great Britain sprinter Darren Campbell
British sprinter Darren Campbell hit back at his critics after helping Great Britain win gold in the 4x100m relay.

BBC pundit Michael Johnson cast doubt on Campbell's claims he had torn a hamstring after the 30-year-old failed to reach the 100m and 200m finals.

"The things said at the beginning of the week hurt me and my family. It's been very stressful," said Campbell.

"I didn't deserve that criticism, especially from someone who doesn't pay taxes in our country.

"I've always gone out there and done the best for my country."

Campbell, who has pledged to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to make up for his disappointing displays in the individual events, also taunted Johnson's fellow BBC pundit, Colin Jackson.

Jackson, a winner of every major title except Olympic gold, criticised the standard of British sprinting when there was no finalist in the 100m for the first time since 1976.

When we saw Kelly had won another gold, we knew we had to win
Darren Campbell

"There is something I'd like to say to Colin Jackson... I've got a gold medal," said the Sale Harrier.

Britain's men's athletics team were heading for their first Olympics without a single medal.

But inspired by Kelly Holmes' second gold in the 1500m earlier on, the relay quartet romped to a stunning victory, edging out the mighty USA team by just one hundredth of a second.

"When we saw Kelly had won another gold, we knew we had to win the gold medal," said Campbell. "The belief in the team was amazing."

Campbell went to Athens with high hopes of repeating his success at the Sydney Games, where he took a surprise silver in the 200m.

But a slight tear in his hamstring saw him crash out of the 100m in the heats before doing likewise in the 200m semi-finals.

Johnson, a former Olympic 200m and 400m champion, said he was "confused" by Campbell's performances.

"Darren said he'd pulled his hamstring, then said he's in the best shape of his life," said Johnson.

Campbell was quick to reject the American legend's claims, saying: "If I had lied about this hamstring injury how could I ever face my five-year-old son?

"How could I bring him up with the values I believe in of honesty, decency and success by hard work?"





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