It was a very disappointing performance from Britain's athletes at the European Indoor Championships. Team coach Charles van Commenee was looking for five or six medals and to only get four is not good enough.

We did get two golds though. I wasn't surprised with Dwain Chambers' efforts in the 60m, although his astonishing 6.42 seconds in the semi-finals breaking the British and European record was a surprise.

I'm running out of things to say about Dwain. It was interesting to hear the jeers and boos inside the stadium - even when he was on the rostrum picking up his gold medal. That surprised me.

Dwain Chambers, Marilyn Okoro and Mo Farah

Sometimes we sit on or hands in Britain and say nothing. Opinion seems to be more polarised in Britain, but most people across the world in the sport - the audiences and newspapers included - all seem to be less sympathetic.

I think we have to be careful about the message we're sending out in this sport. Regarding Dwain's forthcoming autobiography - was it right to bring out the book when he did?

He doesn't seem to want to deal with the aftermath of it all. I'm disappointed and it seems to be the only thing we talk about in athletics. You can't deny his performance on the track but the vast majority of people in the sport and out of it seem unhappy with him and think that what he's doing is not helping athletics.

Mo Farah's 3,000m gold was a cracking run. To go out and push from the front all the way is tough. That was a world class performance and he's now got to go away and get ready for the summer and build on what he's done here. All his hard work has paid off.

The truth is that the British performances were below par.

Sarah Claxton - who equalled her own British 60m hurdles record in the semi-finals - didn't do well at all in the final. Greg Rutherford didn't perform that well in the long jump either. He was sixth, despite a personal best.

Van Commenee is a realistic man and he will know the performances were not as good as he would have liked. They were below par. Marilyn Okoro was in a high level race in the 800m final, but she made some poor decisions in that race bursting out so far in front like she did.

Van Commenee will have to ask why Okoro did what she did. And there is Claxton as well. Why the difference between her semi-final performance and the final?

Looking at other European nations - like the Russians and the Italians - they seem to be raising their game. The two Italian sprinters in the 60m men's final behind Dwain did really well.

But overall, it wasn't a great championships. There have been some world class performances and some pretty poor ones - with Germany's Sebastian Bayer 8.71m in the long jump a real highlight.

The Russian quartet won the women's 4x400m ahead of Britain but the time of 3:29.12 minutes would not have been good enough to win a medal two years ago - it was a shocking performance really.

So Van Commenee will just have to make sure the necessary changes are made with the British team during the summer and put in place.

Steve Cram won a silver medal in the 1500m at the 1984 Olympics and is now a BBC presenter. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


or register to comment.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites