Athletics: Christie tipped to return

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Two of Linford Christie's training partners have opened the bidding in this year's "will Linford run?" campaign.

Christie kept the whole country guessing before deciding to defend his Olympic 100 metres title in Atlanta last summer. Now hurdler Tony Jarrett and sprinter Darren Braithwaite have said they believe Christie will take part at the World Championships in Athens in August.

"I think he is still one of the best 100m runners in the world," Jarrett said. "He has often said he may well think about it, but his performances in Australia this winter and recently indoors, may have swung his decision."

Christie, now 36, hinted at a return to world athletics last week when he told BBC television that he was not sure about retiring.

Braithwaite, too, believes Christie will be back. "I am almost certain he will return to the World Championships," he said. "He is running as quick as he ever has and there is no reason why he can't compete with the best.

"I do not think from speaking to him that he is ready to retire, and he has said to me he misses international competition. I think he realises he can still compete with the best and he has always said to us he wanted to go out a champion. I know he is considering his options carefully and winning at Athens may well be the right way for him to go."