Athletics: Glittering Jackson hits gold jackpot

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The Independent Online
COLIN JACKSON secured a half- share of the biggest jackpot in athletics with another display of technique, power and pace, but Linford Christie suffered his second defeat in three days at last night's Berlin grand prix meeting.

The world, European and Commonwealth champion won the 110 metres hurdles in 13.02sec to complete his winning streak in the 'Golden Four' meetings held in Oslo, Zurich, Brussels and Berlin.

Christie, beaten by the American, Jon Drummond, in Rieti, Italy, on Sunday, came third in a photo-finish behind the American Olympic bronze medallist, Dennis Mitchell, and Drummond. Christie was slow out of the blocks and just failed to gain sufficient ground in the second half of the race. The three crossed the line together. Mitchell was first in 10.0 with Drummond taking second in 10.01 and Christie clocking 10.02.

The two late-season defeats will mean little to Christie, who has peaked at the right time this season, winning the European and Commonwealth titles and beating the world's best sprinters in Zurich earlier this month.

Jackson won half of a jackpot of 20 one-kilo gold bars, worth around pounds 165,000. He shared the prize with the American world long jump record holder, Mike Powell, who won his event with 8.20m and, like Jackson, took the gold for completing a full set of 'Golden Four' victories.

It goes a long way to making up for the financial sacrifice the

29-year-old Welshman made last year when he dropped out of the richest meeting in athletics in Zurich to make sure of being fit for the World Championships.

Despite problems of jetlag after his victory at the Commonwealth Games in Canada last week, he made sure of his bounty with another smooth performance in coolish conditions which were far from perfect for sprinting.

Jackson was pushed in the early part of the race by the American, Mark Crear, but he took control after the fifth hurdle to dip ahead of Crear. The Austrian Olympic champion, Mark McKoy, who finished third in 13.29, went over to his close friend Jackson to give him a hug at the end of the race.

'I came to Berlin concentrated on the race. The gold was not so important,' said Jackson, who hoped his victory would bring some pleasure to British athletics amid the drugs scandals. 'It is not a nice thing that British athletics is in a bit of turmoil.'

Venuste Niyongabo, of Burundi, dominated another men's 1500m, winning in 3min 31.18sec, which was the third fastest time in the world this year.

(Photograph omitted)

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