London 2012: Sprinter James Ellington's eBay auction ends

James Ellington, before the amount of the winning eBay bid was known

An eBay auction to sponsor an athlete from south-east London for the 2012 Olympics has expired.

James Ellington, 26, from Lewisham, advertised on the site with a reserve of £30,000 for which he will wear a sponsor's branded kit at training in the run-up to next year's Games.

The winning bid was for £32,550, but the name of the winner is yet to be announced. Seventy-one bids were made.

After hearing news of the winning bid, he said: "I couldn't be happier."

"If I got more it would have been a bonus but I'm happy," he added. "I didn't think that many people would bid."

The sprinter lost out on sponsors through four years of injury problems.

He said he had managed to qualify for the Games despite no lottery support, kit deal or any kind of endorsements.

'Personal bests'

The auction expired at 12:34 GMT.

London 2012 - Begin your journey here

London view

To train like his rivals, Ellington said he needed a £15,000 wage and a further £15,000 for expenses to cover travel and accommodation, dietary needs and kit.

The athlete - a 100m, 200m and relay sprinter - has run the fastest 200m by a British athlete this year at a non-altitude venue, in a time of 20.52 seconds.

Ellington said: "Once I get the money, I'll be able to fund the cost of training in the US for a month."

When asked about his hopes for the Games, he said: "I don't know my potential as I've never been sponsored full time.

"I couldn't be more confident. Now I have help, I'll run a lot faster and chances are I'll be in the team.

"With full-time help, I'm hoping to make the final, and then anything could happen."

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