26 JAN 1999 General News

Wager brings Christie out of retirement

Former British Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie made a surprise return to the track in Sunday’s indoor permit meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany and showed that he can still compete with the best.

Christie, who retired from active competition 18 months ago but stilll holds the European 100m record, competed in the 60m race and took second place behind leading German athlete Marc Blume with a time of 6.57. Blume’s winning time was 6.54, with third place going to Eric Nkansah (GHA), who clocked the same time as Christie, but was given third place in a photo finish.

Christie said after the race that he had decided to compete after a wager with his protégé Darren Campbell, who had bet that Christie would be unable to run under 6.70. 38 year-old Christie would have had to go without shaving for six months if he had failed to beat the mark. Christie later confirmed that he would be competing in the British Indoor Championships and at another meeting in Dortmund in February.

Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie, who was making an attempt at the 3000m world record currently owned by Daniel Komen of Kenya, missed the record mark by two seconds, finishing some 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Andres Diaz (ESP) after leading the race from the start. Gebrselassie’s time of 7:26.80 was the third fastest ever recorded for the event.