Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Ebay athlete James Ellington to represent Team GB at London 2012
A FORMER Bromley-based athletics coach who had to put himself on Ebay to secure sponsorship is set to represent Great Britain at the Olympics.
Sprinter James Ellington, 26, has been named as part of the men’s 4x100m team and will run in the individual 200m after winning the UK trials on June 24.
Yet this comes only after a year that began by auctioning himself on Ebay.
After years suffering from niggling injuries Ellington lost his sponsorship in 2011 and his prospects of making the London Olympics looked slim as he was forced to train part-time while working as an athletics coach in Bromley, Lewisham, Croydon and Sutton.
He said: "I never had anything serious it was just niggling injuries. I recorded my 200m personal best last year and everything was looking great but then there were more injuries and I lost out."
The Ebay stunt attracted media attention, but when Ellington, who was hoping for £30,000, called on the top bidders in January, they all turned out to be fake.
He said: "I called one after another and they dropped out – I thought ‘this is a joke’. Luckily I had been contacted by Will King from King of Shaves and he promised to sort me out."
With funding in place the Lewisham-born runner began full time training in late March, travelling to the US before returning for the trials, recording a 20.56 second in the 200m final to take the title ahead of veteran Christian Malcolm.
He said: "The conditions were terrible for sprinting so it is really pleasing to get so close to my PB. With everything in place I think I can do a 20.20 which historically would be enough to sneak into the final. I’m not a dreamer, I know there are the Jamaicans and Americans out there recording sub 20 times but to get to the final would be amazing."
He also believes the 4x100ms is a better chance at a medal.
He said: "Man for man we can’t compete with Jamaica or America, but as a team who knows. No-one would have said Great Britain would win it in 2004 so you can’t write us off."