Athletics: Christie denies running scared of Lewis: Zurich date likely for Britain's Olympic gold medallist and main rival

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The Independent Online
LINFORD CHRISTIE yesterday dismissed recent claims by Carl Lewis that he had avoided racing him since the Barcelona Olympics. In the meantime, the faint possibility grows that the two men might meet in Zurich on 4 August.

Andy Norman, the British promotions officer who arranges Christie's race schedule, confirmed that he had asked for a 200 metres place in Zurich on Christie's behalf. Andreas Brugger, the Zurich promoter, maintains that Christie will also run the 100m. Lewis is also expected at the most prestigious grand prix meeting of the season - but who will run what distance has yet to be settled. 'It's a shame that such a great athlete like Carl is making these sort of comments,' Christie said. 'I don't avoid people.'

Norman said Lewis had rejected invitations to four British meetings this summer (at Edinburgh, Birmingham, Crystal Palace and Gateshead) 'because it didn't suit his programme'. Of a reputed pounds 80,000 offer from Brugger for Christie to run in Zurich in a fortnight, Norman claimed: 'He would have to run a world record to earn that sort of money. Brugger is a master of manipulation.'

Christie competes in the 100m and 200m at the AAA Championships in Birmingham this weekend, which doubles as the world championship trials.

Curtis Robb and Kevin McKay, who have both suffered viral illnesses recently, have chosen not to compete in the trials at 800m and 1500m respectively.

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