Commonwealth Games 2002
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Sports Talk Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Your reaction to the big one
Cambers and Lewis-Francis both pulled up injured
Kim Collins claims gold in the showpiece 100m final, as England's Mark Lewis-Francis and Dwain Chambers crash out injured.

Send us your thoughts on the dramatic race.


English duo Mark Lewis-Francis and Dwain Chambers were hotly fancied to triumph in the 100m on Saturday night.

With sprint star Frankie Fredericks withdrawn from the distance, all eyes were on the England's brightest young stars to battle it out for gold.

Mark Lewis-Francis started the better and was powering into the lead, but with 30 metres to go both he and Chambers pulled up in agony, leaving Kim Collins to sail past the finish line in 9.98 seconds.

Collins set a new national record for St Kitts and Nevis, with Uchenna Emedolu of Nigeria taking silver and Canada's Pierre Browne bagging bronze. England's remaining hope in the race, Jason Gardener, could only manage sixth.

Send your reaction to the sprinting action.


This debate is now closed. A selection of your emails appears below.

I don't know what qualifies any of you to say anything about our English lads. I was a semi-professional athlete and I competed in the same event as Dwain and Mark I had to stop through a calf injury. So I know that no professional athlete - especially competing at world level would ever pull up if they knew they weren't going to win it.

I am thoroughly disappointed at some people's attitudes towards the two men. Instead of accusing them of bailing out we should be concentrating on making them fit for the European championships and I would officially like to wish them the best of luck.

Maybe Chambers would serve himself (and his team mates!) much better by not imitating the aggressive moves Maurice Green used to make!

The very suggestion that Dwain pretended to be injured is very cruel. Those in the media who suggest this are either cynical headline grabbers (who deserve the adjectives that Mike McFarlane would have liked to use) or are simply thoughtless individuals with little appreciation of the efforts such athletes have to make.

Dwain is suffering enough without these innuendos. The quality of Dwain and Mark will show over the coming weeks and months.

open quote
They went out there ready to give 100% and they did
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Katherine Richards,England

Perhaps they should remember if your going to talk it you had better be able to walk it!

I was so emotionally charged to see Kim Collins from St Kitts & Nevis.... he was the best starter, racer and finisher. Please do not make excuses about injuries, Kim was good and any winner would have had to do a PB to get that gold medal. Well done to the Caribbean runners for providing us with such depth and entertainment in the 100m. Roll on 200m!!
Janette Treciokas,London UK

Congratulations to Kim Collins. Having the privilege of visiting St Kitts twice, I have an idea of how the celebrations will be going and the welcome home that he can expect.
Tim Hillyer,England

We should give them both a break. They went out there ready to give 100% and they did. It's just so unlucky and sad for them to be struck by injury after so many months of training.

I am sure that if Dwain and Mark had not been plagued by the injuries one of them would of won. But in the end you have to give credit to Kim Collins who had a great race and took advantage of what happened to give him the win. It is great to see a new face winning something that was not expected.
Katherine Richards,England

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Give Dwain and Mark a break!
end quote
Tracy Sutton, England

Kim Collins is a wonderful ambassador, for St. Kitts/Nevis and sport in the Caribbean. St. Kitts is a tiny island with a population that could barley fill the Games stadium. To produce an athlete who can compete with and beat the best of the rest is an accomplishment in itself. Mark and Dwain will have their day. So less of the boo hooing and give credit where credit is due. Well done Kim.
Adrian Millard,UK

I dismayed to see the other comments on Dwain Chambers and Mark Lewis-Francis. Don't they realise that all athletes suffer injuries and set backs in their careers? I remember how Roger Black fought back from his injuries.

Give Dwain and Mark a break! They are only human after all. Please wish them well and I am sure they will fight back and be our future medal winners.
Tracy Sutton, England

Everyone was expecting Dwain Chambers or Mark Lewis-Francis to win and didn't give a monkeys towards Jason Gardener. I'm not saying I don't appreciate Dwain and Mark, and I'm not saying Jason Gardener is most important (they all are equally) - it's just no-one said anything about his good start.
Sophie Acheson

As avid sports fans we should be supporting Dwain and Mark and wishing them a speedy recovery, I'm sure they're feeling pretty bad right now without feeling that so-called athletics fans are claiming it was a shambles and that Dwain pulled up because he was beaten, that's an insult to an amazing athlete.

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Not long ago, Dwain Chambers beat Maurice Green, which shows he can take the pressure
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Emmanuel Ejiogu,England

It was disappointing for viewers but I'm sure that's nothing compared to the disappointment they feel after all of their training and commitment for these games.
Stacey Jacques, UK

I am disappointed but not surprised by the criticism (sometimes barely disguised as disappointment), of our sprinters. For a country that puts little money into athletics it appears hypocritical to me to feel it's ok to make such a fuss when the athletes do not produce gold.

They are not machines. They are, however, our most successful sportsmen and women in spite of the lack of financial resources available to them.
Donna M E Davies,England

Not long ago, Dwain Chambers beat Maurice Green, which shows he can take the pressure. People should stop suggesting that he bottled out. All this unneccessary media pressure is uncalled for and people should start looking at solving the problem instead of accusing him of not being good enough.
Emmanuel Ejiogu,England

Re: Men's 100m final...there's been a terrible mistake! If you look carefully at the photo-finish, you'll see that the real winner was R2D2 in lane O.
Phil Aldred,England

You cannot blame the failure of the English sprinters on too many races. Added together they may have run for as much as two minutes this year. Give me a job like that! Kim Collins won his country's first ever medal in a race he had won fair and square but, his achievement has hardly been mentioned.
Stephen Jamison,Northern Ireland

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It's the same old story - when the chips are down British sportsmen and women fail to deliver
end quote

I believe that Kim Collins still would have won had both Lewis-Francis and Chambers finished. Collins was in the lead when they went down and he was a worthy winner. Well done Kim and St. Kitts.
Malcolm, Australia

Sorry about the two British athletes, but I am so glad for Collins. St. Kitts and Nevis is a very small place, and I'm so glad to see them doing well.
Kristina, Barbados

It is really hard to believe that both British sprinters suffered major injuries at the same time in a major championship final. I think that both these promising sprinters need some solid psychological coaching in what it takes; withstanding pressure and being truly prepared at a world level.
Gordon Scott,Canada

It's the same old story - when the chips are down British sportsmen and women fail to deliver. How many countries produce three athletes in a major final and end up with nothing. I rest my case.

I am afraid it is another story of 'what ifs' for another pair of English sportsmen. Talking of sports in general, I sincerely think that the English press in particular, and the English fans in general, put too much pressure on their sportsmen.

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There's no such thing as a sure thing in sport
end quote
Richard Wray,UK

Unfortunately, this impacts negatively on the performance of otherwise very talented sportsmen which this country is lucky to be blessed with. It was the same story with the football World Cup squad, and then Tim Henman at Wimbledon. As a great fan of British sports, I think it is high time these great talents are given some space to achieve their true potential.
Frank,Nigerian in the UK

Mark Lewis-Francis looked so good that the injury was a tragedy - I for one am convinced that he would have won. However, I have to say that I'm not as convinced about Dwain Chambers. Maybe I'm being cynical and doing him a great injustice, but it seemed to me that he went out in sympathy with Mark when he realised that he was beaten out of sight.
Dave Pearson,UK

There's no such thing as a sure thing in sport. I'm really sad for the British runners, but they're all young enough to come back.
Richard Wray,UK

The best man won. Kim Collins has run three of the fastest 15 100m times this year, and won bronze in the World Championships (200m), and made the finals of the Olympics (100m). He was hardly mentioned by any of the "experts", who seemed bent on willing an English chap to win!More power to Kim. We are proud of you!
Mikey Ryan,St.Kitts-Nevis

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Never underestimate the opposition
end quote
Hal Austin,UK (Barbados)
All the hype. All the attention on the British athletes. And who comes and wins - someone from a little island. Someone who the media didn't focus on and disregarded.

Of course, it's going to be: "oh, he only won because our athletes got injured". Of course, they fail to mention his medal at the last World Championships and his performance on the Grand Prix circuit!

Chambers and Lewis-Francis have paid dearly to learn that Britain is not the universe. Those tiny Caribbean islands have always produced good sprinters.

And, with people like Ato Bolden, Obadele Thompson and Kim Collins all being in the United States, they train and compete almost everyday against America's best.

The basic lesason is a media one: never underestimate the opposition. It is an old one, but it is till true.
Hal Austin,UK (Barbados)

I'm so gutted for Mark, in particular. So many months of training and discipline, but in the blink of an eye his hopes are ruined. No point in 'what ifs' - but I'm sure he would have won if injury had not struck.
Karyn Shafren,England

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