James Ellington has qualified for the London Olympics
James Ellington has qualified for the London Olympics

The British sprinter who put himself up for auction on eBay to fund his Olympic dream has won a spot at London 2012.

James Ellington won the 200m at the British Olympic athletics trials in Birmingham to earn himself a place at the Games.

His time of 20.56 seconds saw him win the final ahead of fellow qualifier Christian Malcolm. Ellington had already surpassed the Olympic A qualifying standard (of 20.55) so he is guaranteed a spot when the 200m heats get under way on August 7.

"I was a bit nervous after the heat but I knew if I kept my head and came off the bend in contention, I should be strong enough to win it," said Ellington after his victorious sprint.

Ellington, who also runs the 100m, competed in the 2011 world championships in Daegu, South Korea but lost out on Olympic funding after enduring four years of injury problems.

Those injury problems meant he had trouble trying to convince sponsors to back him, so he came up with the idea of selling himself on eBay last year. His plan was to raise £30,000 to fund his training and living expenses.

"I said from the beginning that all I needed was the backing and the support to be able to train full time and after coming up with the eBay idea I came up with the backing to do that," said Ellington.

After a fast-paced auction involving 71 bids from 45 interested parties he raised £32,550, but it turned out that the winning bidder was a prankster and his dream was on the rocks once again.

But after hearing about his plight shaving firm King of Shaves stepped in to become Ellington's sponsor - and their faith has been paid off handsomely as he will head to the Olympics as one of Britain's highest-profile track athletes.

"It's only been a matter of five months and now you've seen the result. I always knew what I could do but I'd never trained full time, so hopefully I can carry on from here and you'll see more results," he added.

"I'm a very determined person and I was just thinking outside the box, basically. All the other ideas, sending off emails, just didn't work so I decided to do something different, and it worked, thank God."

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