England bosses defend omissions

The Bolton News: James Dasaolu will not represent England at the 2014 Glasgow Games James Dasaolu will not represent England at the 2014 Glasgow Games

Team England bosses have defended heading into Glasgow's Commonwealth Games without two of Britain's fastest-ever 100 metre runners James Dasaolu and Chijindu Ujah.

Adam Gemili, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Richard Kilty will spearhead England's 100m bid in Glasgow next month, in a 129-strong athletics squad confirmed on Monday.

Dasaolu has been overlooked despite recovering from hamstring problems, while Ujah's 9.96 in Holland on June 8 fell outside the qualifying period.

Team leader Peter Stanley said omitting Dasaolu was the "only decision we could have made", while conceding England were "stuck with" their early selection deadline due to administrative procedure.

"James was certainly discussed. Our selection process and criteria, we were looking at athletes with current form, running from January 1, 2014 up until June 2," said Stanley on Dasaolu, who ran Britain's second-fastest ever 100m last year, at 9.91.

"James hadn't competed unfortunately, during that period, over 100 metres.

"So it didn't really leave us much room to nominate him, and he still hasn't competed yet, so it's the only decision we could have made.

"He is coming back from injury; I understand he is in good form, but now he'll have more time to complete his training programme with his coach to be ready for the Europeans.

"The Commonwealths are probably just a little bit too early for him I think.

"This way he'll have (the) chance to compete, get some competitions under his belt, test himself and come to a peak at the correct time for him."

Haringey's 2013 European junior champion Ujah clocked Britain's third-fastest 100m of all time in Holland - just six days after Team England's Commonwealth Games qualification deadline.

Stanley said he remains "comfortable" with the squad that will travel to Glasgow for the start of the Games on July 23.

"If you look behind the scenes, we were confronted with an early nomination period, but again it's due to the size of the team," said Stanley.

"This competition only comes around once every four years, it is a protracted period I've got to be honest, but it's just the way the admin works.

"We had to have time for possible appeals, then the selection had to go through, everything had to be cleared administratively so we were just stuck with it really.

"I have spoken to CJ myself and I'm very comfortable with the decision that's been made."

Triple-jumper Phillips Idowu has returned from last year's indefinite break to win Commonwealth selection, while Stanley said Christine Ohuruogu asked to be considered solely for relay action.

Backing Katarina Johnson-Thompson's hepathlon bid, Stanley admitted the clear comparisons with reigning Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill are justified.

"Jessica won bronze in 2006 and Katarina is following a very similar and parallel footpath," he said.

"She just seems to be getting better and better.

"She's certainly one to watch, in fabulous form, recording personal bests across almost every event.

"She's looking like the real deal, but especially with seven events, you cannot hang a medal around anybody's neck."

Stanley expects Team England to battle at the top of the medal table, despite not targeting a specific haul.

Hailing double Olympic champion Mo Farah as central to England's chances, he said: "I'd like to think we'll be vying for the top position, but who knows - it's a world-class event.

"I would suggest certainly for England it's very, very important to have Mo there, and for the Games as a spectacle.

"No-one could have failed to be moved by 'Super Saturday' in 2012.

"So if we could have something like that again in Glasgow, that would be wonderful.

"I actually spoke to Mo only a few days ago, he's in very good shape, his training's going according to plan, everything's organised."

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