CJ Ujah in winning return at Euro Champs in Rome – AW

    British sprinter takes heat victory in Rome in first major championship since anti-doping ban

    CJ Ujah enjoyed a winning return to international championship competition on Friday (June 7) when he won his 100m heat at the Europeans in Rome in 10.23 (0.5).

    The 30-year-old sat out a 22-month ban after testing positive at the Tokyo Olympics, although he was later cleared of intentionally taking drugs.

    Ujah was a late addition to the British team for the European Championships but says he has been on stand-by to compete and poised to return to the GB squad.

    “I was told a while ago I’d be first reserve so I was always on stand-by anyway,” he told AW. “I would have gone into training otherwise as there’s not much else going on during the Euros.”

    Was being drawn on the inside lane to all his competitors difficult? “Not really. I’ve gone to many championships and been drawn in different lanes. It was just about getting over the nerves and getting this first one out.”

    He added: “It was about maintaining composure. I probably sat in the blocks for too long.”

    Ujah also enjoyed getting into his stride on the first day of the championships. “I’ve not been at this level for a long time in terms of championships, so it was definitely good to get out there,” he said.

    In the semi-finals and possibly final on Saturday he could be up against fellow Brit Romell Glave and also Olympic champion Marcel Jacobs – the poster boy of the championships from the host nation Italy – both of whom were given a bye through this first round.

    Does that make the event more exciting? “It does but I’ve come here to focus on myself,” he said. “It’s his home champs and a lot of people want to do the Italian job, literally.”

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