posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 08:04 PM
LONDON -- American runner Malachi Davis was added to the British Olympic team Tuesday, two weeks after receiving his British passport.
Davis was given provisional spots in the 400 meters and 1,600-meter relay for his adopted country.
Davis is from Sacramento, Calif., but his mother was born in England. He decided to try for a place on the British team, figuring he had little chance
to make the American squad for the Aug. 13-29 Olympics.
"I'm extremely happy, I'm excited," Davis said. "It was definitely up in the air because I know there were quite a few athletes that still were part
of the selection process."
"There are a lot of athletes, I was told, that were upset with my decision because that could possibly take away their chances of making the squad,"
he added. "But like any athlete around the world there's a certain standard that you have to get."
Davis has a personal best of 45.52 seconds and finished fifth in the 400 at the British Olympic trials this month in Manchester. Davis had never been
to Britain before the Olympic trials and had been outside the United States only once before arriving to compete.
"When we select a team we have to select it on merit," British team leader Max Jones said. "Malachi Davis has a legal entitlement to be selected to
the British team because he has a British passport.
"That wasn't part of the selection issue, whether he's come late to the party or he's been there for years."
Besides Davis, 400-meter runner Matt Elias was also named to the team. They were the only two British athletes who had Olympic qualifying times who
had not made the squad.