James Dasaolu has told Dwain Chambers he is a spent force in British sprinting.
The pair will go head to head for the British 60 metres title at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Saturday, with Chambers unbeaten in his past 15 races at the venue.
But Dasaolu is the defending champion - Chambers missed the event last year - and he comprehensively beat his veteran rival in their season opener in Glasgow last month, his winning time of 6.50 seconds placing him second in the world rankings.
The 26-year-old is the hot favourite to defend his crown at the Sainsbury’s British Athletics Indoor Championships and seal his place on the team for the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, next month.
Dasaolu won European Indoor silver in 2013 before going on to become the second fastest Briton in history by running 9.91secs for 100m in the summer, and he reckons Chambers’ days of dominating the national scene are over.
He said: “It’s not down to me to write anyone off, because you get the likes of (37-year-old) Kim Collins, who’s still run 6.55, but I think the time may have come where he (Chambers) is not going to be so much at the forefront of British sprinting any more. There’ll be other names coming through.”
Chambers, who is 35 and a five-time British champion, is ranked only joint fourth in Britain this year with 6.61, behind Sean Safo-Antwi and Rion Pierre and level with teenager Chijindu Ujah.
Chambers holds the British indoor 60m record of 6.42, set five years ago in Turin. But Dasaolu reckons he is in line to “smash” his best of 6.48 this season, so could threaten the former drug cheat’s mark.
“I think the sport’s moving on and we are progressing,” Dasaolu said.
“Adam (Gemili, Dasaolu’s training partner) is second on the all-time list in the 200m, I’m second on the all-time list for 100m, you’ve got kids like Chijindu or Safo-Antwi, so there’s a lot of other promising juniors coming through.
“Sprinting’s looking very promising so we don’t have to rely on the likes of Dwain to take the mantle any more, with all respect to him.”
Asked if he could at least learn from his fellow Londoner’s years of experience, Dasaolu added: “No, I don’t really talk with Dwain at all actually.
“If I gain experience from anyone it’s more the likes of Linford Christie, who was Olympic champion and the British record holder, so I have nothing to do with Dwain at all.
“He’s just in a different camp from me, a different generation.”