The 32-year-old Olympic champion has looked jaded on his two outings since the Games, and was beaten in Cologne by Nigeria's Olapade Adeniken. A meeting with Carl Lewis, the world record- holder, now seems a probability, either in Brussels next Friday, or Turin a week later.
Lewis, disappointed at not meeting Christie last night, was disappointed further in the 200m, finishing third behind Frankie Fredericks and Mike Marsh, a reverse of the one-two in the Olympic final.
Colin Jackson beat Mark McKoy, the Olympic 110m hurdles champion, for the third time in three races since Barcelona. He clocked 13.05, one hundredth of a second outside his European record; the Canadian was second in 13.12, with Tony Jarrett third in 13.25.
Moses Kiptanui, the man of the moment, failed in his attempt to add the 2,000m world record to the 3,000m and steeplechase records he has already broken this week, but he still won, ahead of his fellow-Kenyan David Kibet.
South Africa's Elana Meyer took some consolation for missing out on gold in the Olympic 10,000m when she ran the fourth fastest 5,000m by a woman - 14min 51.47sec.
In the men's 800m Tom McKean was beaten into fourth place by Nixon Kiprotich, Johnny Gray and William Tanui, respectively third, second and first in the Olympics. Ellen van Langen of the Netherlands came from behind to produce another of her extraordinary climaxes in the corresponding women's event.
Kevin Young continued to dominate the men's 400m hurdles, beating Samuel Matete, Winthrop Graham and Kriss Akabusi, but there was a surprise in the flat one lap when Quincy Watts was beaten into second place by Kenya's Samson Kitur.
In the men's mile Britain's Matthew Yates's disappointing summer continued when he could only finish eighth, in 3:57.33. Kenya's William Kemei won with Algeria's Nourredine Morceli second and the Olympic 5,000m champion, Dieter Baumann, again failing in front of a German crowd, in third.Reuse content