Athletics: Jackson leaves Olympic rivals behind

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The Independent Online
COLIN JACKSON issued his second warning in 48 hours to his Olympic 110 metres hurdles rivals, this time at the Welsh Games in Cwmbran yesterday. The 25-year-old outpaced the American pair of Arthur Blake and Jack Pierce, as well as fellow-Briton Tony Jarrett, all of whom he beat in setting the European and Commonwealth record of 13.06sec on Friday evening.

But unlike at Crystal Palace, when the Welshman was pushed to the line by the third American Olympic team-member, Tony Dees, Jackson had things all his own way yesterday as he surged through unchallenged in 13.19 after a blistering start.

Jackson was running into a stiff wind, which only served to underline the rich vein of form which has installed him as favourite for the gold medal in Barcelona, particularly in the absence of Roger Kingdom, the Olympic champion, and Greg Foster, both of whom have failed to make the US team.

Foster, the three-times world champion, was another of Jackson's victims yesterday, as he was in London, pulling up half-way through the race, protesting that Jarrett was running in his lane, to which Jarrett retorted: 'He's a big bloke and he's been around long enough not to complain.'

Jackson said afterwards: 'I'm pretty tired after that. It was difficult lifting myself to face the same guys after such a hard race on Friday. I was pleased to keep on winning, but we all know these are just warm-ups for the big one ahead. Whoever takes the gold is going to have to work hard for it.' Blake (13.44), Jarrett (13.47) and Pierce (13.52) followed Jackson home.

Jon Ridgeon, who won the world championship silver medal to Jackson's bronze in 1987, turned his hand to the 400m hurdles in the British Athletics League Division One match at West London Stadium on Saturday, recording a better time than Britain's Olympic representative, Max Robertson.

Ridgeon, who failed to qualify for Barcelona in the high hurdles, ran 51.30sec on his one-lap debut. That was good enough to win the B race, and would have won the A race, ahead of Robertson's 51.59. Ridgeon, out for nearly three years until this season after snapping both Achilles tendons, also won the high hurdles and 200m and helped Belgrave Harriers take the sprint relay and the match.

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