The Kildare man had resigned himself to the fact that he would not be on the plane for the world championships in Berlin long before the team was announced last Tuesday.
He had been battling it out with Thomas Chamney (Crusaders) for a place in the 800m and it went down to the wire at the Woodies DIY national championships in Morton Stadium on Sunday.
Both of them went into the championships with B standards for the world championships which they recorded at the Golden League meeting in Oslo. Chamney had done 1:45.41 – just a hundredth of a second outside the A standard – for third place while Campbell finished fifth in 1:45.59 in a blanket finish for the minor placings.
On Sunday Campbell, after leading all the way, was outsprinted once again by Chamney in the final of the 800m – last year Chamney went to the Olympic Games on a B standard after beating Campbell in the 800m final.
This time around Chamney also had the 1,500m B standard for the world championships and when he opted to compete in both events in Berlin Campbell’s hopes were dashed.
“Of course I would have liked to have gone to Berlin,” Campbell said yesterday. “It would have given me an opportunity to put Osaka to bed for once and for all.”
He was referring to 2007 when he went to Osaka hoping to make it through the early rounds of the 800m. He went there with both the national 800m and 1,500m titles to his credit and the B standard for 800m.
However, three days before his event, he was stricken with an illness, lost six kilograms over two days and spent a night on a drip to replace lost liquids.
“I was in hospital the day before I raced,” he said. “There was no way I could have done myself justice and that is something I want to put right at some future date. It would have been nice to have been able to do it in Berlin.
“I find myself having to watch the world championships on TV and that is something I don’t relish. But there is no point on dwelling on things now. I could sit here for ages and reflect on what might have been.
“From that point of view I am looking forward to racing in Germany at the weekend. After that I will go into a block of training and be ready when the action resumes at the end of August.
“It’s unfortunate that I could not get a good 1,500m before now because I know I would have done a standard for the world championships. That’s another reason I am looking forward to the end of season races. I want to prove to myself that I am capable of doing it. I am not panicking but I am disappointed.”
The Kilcock man threw everything into making it to Osaka. He sold everything he possessed, including his TV, to get the money to train abroad.
And when he did his qualifying standard – a pb of 1:46.50 – in Legano, Italy, it was also in unusual circumstances. After arriving for the meet he got a bad toothache and, after making a crude attempt to extract the troublesome tooth himself with a pliers, he ended up having to go under an anaesthetic the day before the race.