Two athletes labelled Plastic Brits by some for their switching of nationalities won medals at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul last night.
A bronze for Dwain Chambers in the 60 metres took Britain's overall haul to four, matching their tally from Doha two years ago with one day of competition remaining.
Veteran Yamile Aldama, who previously competed for her native Cuba and then Sudan, produced a brilliant jump of 14.82m to win gold in the triple jump. And American-born Tiffany Porter, whose appointment as team captain last week reignited the debate on the issue, took silver in the 60m hurdles behind Australia's Sally Pearson.
Loading article content
Aldama set a superb season's best in the second round, but then suffered a hamstring injury during her next attempt. However, the 39-year-old did not need to jump again as none of her rivals were able to overhaul her. Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan took the silver with 14.63m and Mabel Gay of Cuba bronze with 14.29m.
"Better late than never," said a delighted Aldama. "This is my first world title, 12 years after I won silver in Seville. This gold is for my mom and my children and a great motivation for London.
"I thought there was a little more there but unfortunately I had a little problem with my hamstring and could not carry on. I was checking round by round and in the end I won so I am very happy.
"I am feeling very proud and I can't wait to get home and celebrate with my family. I hope [the kids] have been watching, especially the oldest who is 10. Before I came to the track he told me, 'mummy you have to win'."
Asked earlier this year about being labelled a Plastic Brit, Aldama, who is married to a Scot, said: "I laugh. I didn't come to Britain for athletics. I fell in love and wanted to start a new life. If anybody had a choice they would say, 'I want to compete for my own country' but Cuba did not give me that choice. I didn't get my British passport when I should have or I'd never have competed for Sudan."
Asked last night about fresh controversy, Aldama added: "Of course I feel British. I have been in the country for 11 years. I do everything I have to as a British citizen, my kids are British, 60% of my friends are British. Britain is home."
In the hurdles, Pearson made the most of a stunning start to storm to victory in 7.73 seconds, with Porter just holding off Alina Talay of Belarus to claim silver.Porter said: "I feel really good. I'm happy I was able to come out here and execute my race and bring home a medal. For me, the main focus was to come out here and compete with pride. That's what I was able to do so I'm happy."
Chambers was unable to defend his 60m title, but was happy with bronze behind American Justin Gatlin and Jamaica's Nesta Carter. Gatlin who, like Chambers has served a drugs ban, stormed to victory in 6.46secs. Chambers took third by the narrowest of margins ahead of American Trell Kimmons, with both given a time of 6.60s.
"I'm very happy," Chambers said. "I always knew it was going to be tough with those guys, but to get back on the podium is a great feeling. It showed the old boy still has it in his old legs."
Asked about competing against Gatlin, Chambers said: "I have no problem with the guy, we've all made mistakes. I've owned up, he's owned up and we just have to get on with it now."
Also in the evening session, Shana Cox set a personal best of 52.13secs as she finished fifth in the 400m final. Steve Lewis (5.70m) was fifth in the pole vault final. Yesterday morning, teenager Andy Pozzi set a personal best of 7.61secs to reach the semi-finals of the 60m hurdles, while Asha Philip and Jodie Williams reached the same stage of the women's 60m.
Robbie Grabarz (2.29m) made the high jump final, while team-mate Samson Oni (2.22m) missed out. Andrew Osagie reached the 800m final as Joe Thomas, struggling with a bruised heel, failed to qualify.