Athletics: Injured Christie sidelined

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The Independent Online
LINFORD CHRISTIE has had to abandon the rest of the indoor athletics season after suffering a back injury. Christie, just returned from eight weeks' training in Australia, was to have opened his domestic season at this weekend's TSB National Indoor Championships in Birmingham.

He strained his lower back, however, lifting weights in Sydney and has been advised by an osteopath to rest, which means he will also miss next month's World Indoor Championships in Toronto.

Christie believes, though, that the enforced rest - he will be unable to sprint in training for a couple of weeks - will be a blessing in disguise and, while he will be missing in Toronto, he could prepare himself properly for the eagerly awaited showdown with Carl Lewis this summer.

'Of course it will happen, just like Lennox Lewis has got to fight Riddick Bowe,' Christie said, dismissing news that the American company HBO has abandoned plans to screen the race from Las Vegas on 29 May.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the three-times Olympic champion, will also miss the World Indoor Championships because of concerns about her physical fitness.