LONDON (Reuters) - A top British sprinter desperate to run in his home London Olympics next year has raised 32,550 pounds ($50,500) in sponsorship by auctioning himself on eBay.

James Ellington told the BBC he "couldn't be happier' after his effort to raise cash to train closed on Saturday with 71 bids from 45 bidders over a 10-day period.

"I didn't think that many people would bid," added the 100 and 200 meter runner who competed in this year's world championships in Daegu.

Ellington, 26, lost out on funding after enduring four years of injury problems, making him the country's top sprinter without a sponsor ahead of his home Games.

He had set a reserve of 30,000 pounds, which he said would provide him with enough to train and pay for travel, accommodation, kit and nutritional support.

In return for the cash, he had promised to wear the sponsor's branded kit "at every possible opportunity where appropriate, including at training and press events, until after the 2012 Games."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Dave Thompson)