Athletics / European Champioship: Bungle leaves Christie standing

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The Independent Online
LINFORD CHRISTIE, the British athletics team captain, is left dumbfounded and flat- footed as he watches his hopes for a second European championship gold medal end in disaster last night.

Christie, the 100 metres champion, was furious after members of the sprint relay team fumbled the baton and he was left standing uselessly further down the track. He tore down his running vest in disgust and walked away from the arena shaking his head.

The race started promisingly enough with Jason John completing the first leg but when Darren Braithwaite came to change with Tony Jarrett they fumbled and dropped the baton.

The incident rounded off a bad day for Christie, who was criticised by Professor Peter Radford,executive chairman of the British Athletic Federation, for putting on a T-shirt that indirectly advertised a running- shoe company after his 100m victory last Monday.

Prof Radford described the move as 'ill-advised' and the Federation also said it had been 'foolish' for Christie to go on to the in-field at the end of the men's high jump competition.

The sprint debacle also appeared to end British hopes of maintaining the success of the 1986 and 1990 European Championships,when they won 15 and 18 medals respectively. The team could still finish in the top three.

British sprinter Solomon Wariso will face an inquiry in London within the next few days into the positive dope test which led to his ban from the championships.

(Photograph omitted)