eBay athlete raises cash for Games
A top UK athlete who turned to an online auction site to find sponsorship in his race to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games has successfully surpassed his target.
James Ellington, 26, from Lewisham in south-east London, attracted an anonymous eBay bid of £32,550 - more than £2,500 above the target he had set.
He advertised on the bidding site - usually used to buy and sell items - for a deal in which he will wear a sponsor's branded kit at training and press events in the run-up to and after next summer's event.
He turned to eBay to try to raise funds, without which he fears he risks being left behind his international competitors.
Four years of serious injury meant Ellington - a 100m, 200m and relay sprinter - slipped down the rankings, and has been passed over by the major sponsors who were looking for long-term tie-ups.
He has enjoyed his best season yet, running 200m in the fastest time by a British athlete this year at a non-altitude venue (20.52 seconds).
To train around the clock like his rivals, Ellington says he needs a £15,000 wage and a further £15,000 for expenses to cover travel and accommodation, nutritional support and kit.
When Ellington placed the potential deal on the site 10 days ago, he said: "I've been passed over by potential sponsors in the past because of my injury, but that's all behind me now.
"I'm peaking when it really matters, finishing my best-ever season and smashing my own personal bests just before the 2012 Games.
"All I need now is a commercial sponsor to get onboard and I can commit myself full-time to getting into Team GB and hopefully win a medal for Great Britain at London 2012."