Athletics: Christie on right track: First Inter-Counties victory

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The Independent Online
LINFORD CHRISTIE declared himself fit and ready for the most demanding season of his career after romping away to win the Inter- Counties 100 metres title at Corby yesterday.

He went into his first race of the summer with doubts about a niggling groin injury, but a brisk start and sharp pick-up carried him clear, while a time of 10.52sec into a stiff head-wind was just what he wanted.

Christie, 34, said: 'You are always nervous about the first one, knowing that anything can happen. There are always young guys out there trying to blast you away and ruin your career and you always wonder whether you got the winter work right. But it blew away the cobwebs and there were no twinges.'

Christie, who defends the European and Commonwealth titles and leads Britain into the European Cup and World Cup this summer, now moves on to his opening international race in Seville on Sunday.

The time which brought him his first Inter-Counties title bore little resemblance to the high- powerered sprinting by his American rival, Andre Cason, who clocked 10.01 in San Jose over the weekend. But Christie insisted: 'You know I never worry about that sort of thing. It's what happens in the major championships that counts.'

Ron Roddan, Christie's coach, said: 'We've seen it before - fast tracks and perfect conditions over there. Let's see what happens when they come over to Europe. He is still enjoying it and he is still hungry for success. I have given up saying when he might retire because he always contradicts me.'

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