eBay sprinter wins Olympic spot

Eurosport | London Spy, Yahoo!7 June 26, 2012, 10:03 am

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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  1. karl02:08pm Tuesday 26th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Full of EPO & steriods,,,the public still get sucked in...

  2. Inventions -Teresa Lipczyk01:21pm Tuesday 26th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hi, I Like this story, "Get there anyway you can" show inner power and will power can make it.

  3. Hach01:18pm Tuesday 26th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    And it's bloody Trolls like u lot, who make such stupid comments on these so-called blog/messageboard sites, and want their "15 mins of fame". By the way, by judging from these times that these messages have been posted... you're all bloody bludgers. There's no way that your work will allow u to post messages or even look at such sites. You are all bloody Bogan, and Yobbos!!!

  4. JoshL12:51pm Tuesday 26th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Good luck to him but on the other hand i feel that he is wasting others money who give hiom as donation on his tattoos.. Why not save that and use it more wisely..

  5. Dee12:39pm Tuesday 26th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Or steroids... he looks waaaaaay too pumped up to be a sprinter!!

  6. ajb12:35pm Tuesday 26th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Good story but I wonder how much money he wasted on tatoos ?