Athletics: Jackson makes record his own

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The Independent Online
COLIN JACKSON proved as good as his word last night as he lowered the world 60 metres hurdles record to 7.30sec at Sindelfingen, Germany. The 27-year-old Welshman had forecast he would set a new best at his favourite indoor track. His time took 0.06sec of the mark he shared with Greg Foster of the United States. 'It was finally the way I had imagined a perfect run to be,' Jackson said.

Having broken the record by such a margin, he is not about to suffer the disappointment which befell him three weeks ago in Glasgow. Then his time of 7.35sec, which would have given him the record outright, was rounded up to 7.36 after it was discovered that an error of a couple of thousandths of a second had been made in adjudging the photo-finish.

Only three men, including Jackson, have run below 7.40. Roger Kingdom, who took gold to Jackson's silver in the 1988 Olympic 110 metres hurdles, ran 7.37 in 1989. Foster's previous record came two years earlier in Los Angeles, although it is asterisked in the record books because many observers felt it was achieved from an illegal rolling start.

Thus Jackson has broken two world records within seven months around Stuttgart, where he set a new mark of 12.91 in winning the 110 metres hurdles world title last summer, and his performance may have embarrassed officials from the Sindelfingen meeting as they may have left it too late to insure against Jackson gaining the record.

Meanwhile Eamonn Martin, the London Marathon winner, has joined calls for Andy Norman, the British Athletic Federation's promotions officer who is facing disciplinary proceedings, to be replaced.

Speaking from a training camp in Lanzarote, where he is preparing for next month's title defence, Martin said the row surrounding Norman - who is accused of making unsubstantiated allegations of sexual harrassment against the athletics writer and coach, Cliff Temple, who committed suicide two months ago - must be resolved quickly before it soured the coming outdoor season. Proceedings have been halted because Norman has said he is not well enough to face a hearing.

'I hate to see athletics being dragged through the mud into summer,' the UK 10,000m record holder said. 'The sooner it is sorted and the sooner someone is put in Andy Norman's place the better. It is a shame that it is going on for so long. It is not good for the sport, particularly in this big season.'

Twenty athletes formerly coached by Temple have written to the BAF expressing their anger at Norman's actions.

Meanwhile, Linford Christie won the 60 metres flat Sindelfingen in 6.53sec and the 200 in 20.76. Sally Gunnell had an easy victory over 400 metres in 51.72.