Athletics: Christie lines up Tokyo duel with Lewis

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The Independent Online
THE RACE craved by all track aficionados - Linford Christie v Carl Lewis - is set to take place in Tokyo on 19 September. Britain's Olympic 100 metres champion revealed yesterday that he was prepared to meet the eight-times Olympic gold medallist in one of the most lucrative sprint races ever staged.

Christie, however, is demanding that he receives at least half of the pounds 250,000 likely to be on offer. The 32-year-old sprinter, who has studiously avoided Lewis ever since he succeeded the American as Olympic champion in Barcelona, said in Belfast: 'I'm ready to take on Lewis as long as the promoters can strike the right deal.

'But I take it as a matter of respect and pride that money is split 50-50 between us. After all, I don't need Lewis - I'm the man who is the Olympic champion. If he wants it to be 60-40 in his favour, it's not going to happen.'

There will be two 100m races at the Tokyo meeting and Christie insists he is not worried if the pair avoid each other. But after post-Olympic defeats by the Nigerian Olapade Adeniken, it is surely no coincidence that Christie is now clearing his diary to undergo serious training in Lanzarote.

Christie and other athletes gave their services free yesterday at the Les Jones Memorial Games in Belfast in memory of the former British team manager. Christie won the 100m in 10.51sec from the former world record holder, Calvin Smith.

Britain's 800m hope, Curtis Robb, suffered his third post-Olympic defeat by David Sharpe. Robb has given up his World Cup place in Havana to the Jarrow runner who failed to qualify for the Games. Robb, third in a 1,000m race won by Sharpe, has been troubled by a knee injury.

Colin Jackson suffered his first defeat in the 110m hurdles since his Olympic disappointment when he was beaten by Tony Jarrett.

Results, Sport in Short, page 33