28 JAN 1999 General News

Christie heads star field in British Indoor Championships

Christie heads star field for British AAA Indoor Championships

The top stars of the British athletics firmament will be in Birmingham next weekend, for the AAA’s Indoor Championships and they will be headed by a surprise attraction: former Olympic 100m champion (92) Linford Christie. Christie is making a brief return from retirement for the occasion after clocking the third fastest time in the world this year with 6.57 on 24 January.

The Lynx Express AAA Indoor Championship, will also act as the selection trials for the British team which will compete in the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Maebashi on 5-7 March and all of the nation’s hopefuls will be in contention.

38 year-old Christie, who must surely merit the title of the fastest grandfather on the planet, will be running in the 60m and will be competing against Jamie Baulch, who took silver in the last World Indoor Championships in Paris in 1997; Christian Malcolm, the young Welshman who took the World Junior Championships in Annecy by storm last year, when he took double gold in the 100m and 200m and 32 year-old stalwart John Regis, who was 200m European champion in 1990, 1989 world indoor champion and took silver and bronze in that event at the World Championships in 1993 and 1987, respectively.

Malcolm will also be doubling up in the 200m, but will face seasoned competition in the shape of Jamie Baulch, also doubling; Darren Campbell, the Christie protégé who took gold in the 100m at last year’s European Championships and Regis, once again.

Ashia Hansen the world indoors record holder in the triple jump and reigning European indoor champion in that event will be trying her chances in the 60m. With a personal best of 7.54 over the distance, Hansen will face strong competition from Christine Bloomfield and Stephanie Douglas. She is, however, an uncontested favourite for the triple jump, in which she will also be competing.

World leading heptathlete, Denise Lewis, will be competing in the long jump and facing off against the new Commonwealth champion Joanne Wise, with little to show between the two, who both dominate the other competitors on past form. Lewis will also compete in the 60m hurdles in a field which includes the world junior champion in the 100m hurdles, Julie Pratt

In the men’s 60m hurdles, 110m world record holder Colin Jackson, former world champion (1993) and silver medallist in Athens looks a sure favourite, but we could see some surprises coming from Du’aine Ladejo, the former European champion at 400m, now a decathlete, who is doubling in this event and in the long jump.

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