Britain's relay team strike gold

Last updated at 08:02 14 August 2006


The British team finally won a gold medal at the European Championships in Gothenburg when the men's 4x100 metres relay team raced to victory in 38.91 seconds.

Dwain Chambers, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis finished ahead of Poland and France with some good baton handling.

The squad, which had set the fastest time in the semi-finals, increased the Norwich Union GB team's medal tally to nine.

It would have been a third successive British victory if the squad had not had their gold medals taken away following victory in Munich four years ago.

Chambers was already using the banned designer drug THG then, although he was not finally caught and banned until the following summer.

Today he gave the quartet a good start, which was carried on by his three team-mates, each running the same legs they did when clinching the Olympic title two years ago.

Campbell, a former European 100m champion, surprisingly did not join in the lap of honour with his delighted colleagues.

The seasoned British international, shortly expected to announce his retirement, is understood to be upset by comments made in newspapers.

An emotional Campbell told BBC1: "How can I do a lap of honour?

"To have certain accusations levelled at me....I just can't take the rubbish any more. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

"I made my feelings clear what I felt about running. In what should be a great moment.....".

Asked what reports he was referring to, Campbell replied: "Read the papers."

Devonish, Chambers and Lewis-Francis were not able to shed any light on what had upset Campbell.

Lewis-Francis said: "The negativity? I don't know where that's come from."

Chambers added: "Darren has his reasons for going off. He came here and he's done his job...but he's obviously hurting."

Devonish said: "Darren has his reasons and you have to ask him (what they are)."

Chambers was delighted with his run, saying: "It was definitely a flying start" and Lewis-Francis was delighted to have bagged another relay gold.

He said: "This has done my confidence a lot of good. It's great to leave the Euros with a gold."

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