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Maurice Greene heads billing in Tokyo

'The Phenomenon' and Jackson out to end season on winning note

Tokyo, Sept 14 (AFP) - Despite several notable withdrawals America's 100m world recordholder Maurice 'The Phenomenon' Greene and Welshman Colin Jackson, the 110m hurdles world champion, will be out to end their seasons on a winning note here on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Greene, who smashed the 100m world record in Athens in June with a mark of 9.79sec to strip his Canadian arch-rival Donovan Bailey of the record, retained his 100m world title in Seville last month and added the 200m title to become the first man to achieve the sprint double in the world championships - he also took 4x100m gold as well.

"My season this year has been exceptionally good. I did a lot of hard work early in the year and it seemed to have paid off later on in the year," said the 25-year-old American.

"I went into Seville expecting to get three gold medals and I have come out with all three gold medals, so I'm happy with that," he added.

Greene will face Asian 100m recordholder Koji Ito of Japan, Greene's John Smith stablemate American Curtis Johnson and Yin Hanzhao of China.

Jackson, who set the world 110m hurdles record of 12.91 to win the 1993 world championships and regained it narrowly in Seville, will not have the chance to face American Mark Crear, who the Welshman has accused of losing his nerve on the big occasion.

However, 32-year-old Jackson will have his work cut out with another of Greene's training partners Larry Wade in the field - the young American, who suffered cramp in the US finals thus missing out on a spot in Seville, won at the Berlin Golden League meeting last Tuesday.

Jackson will also face Bangkok Asian Games champion Chen Yanhao of China.

The 1997 world indoor champion Kevin Little, sixth in Seville, is expected to have it easy in the 200m after Obadele Thompson of Barbados withdrew, while the 1991 World 400m champion Antonio Pettigrew will have a tough race against world bronze medallist Alejandro Cardenas of Mexico in the men's 400m.

Pettigrew, who finished fifth in this year's world championships well behind the superb 43.18sec world recordbreaking run of Michael Johnson, will no doubt have a great excuse should he lose going on what he said after finishing second in his semi-final in Seville.

"My shorts were too tight!" the 31-year-old said.

Other prominent athletes include former world champion Samuel Matete of Zambia, American Joey Woody and Dinsdale Mogan of Jamaica in the men's 400m hurdles and Lee Jin-Taek of South Korea in the men's high jump.