Barring an act of God, they will. Colin Jackson is running.
Having reduced the 60m hurdles world record to 7.30sec on Sunday evening, relatively a huge improvement of 0.06sec on the previous mark he held along with Greg Foster of the United States, the Welshman stands so pre-eminent in his event that it is practically unsporting. And yet, characteristically, he professed himself less than totally satisfied with his latest performance in the small German town of Sindelfingen. 'The first two hurdles were very good,' he said yesterday. 'But I sort of lost my bottle on hurdles three, four and five. I didn't really let rip. I took the coward's way out.'
Jackson actually stopped short of saying it was a disgraceful performance, but he might have got round to it in time.
It seems an odd attitude, as he concedes. 'I'm nit-picking. But if I were nit-picking to get down to 7.50 seconds, people wouldn't think that much of it. It is just a coincidence that my personal best is the world record.'
As it happened, Jackson was not sure that he had the record immediately after his race. 'To be honest, when I came across the line I turned round and I couldn't see the clock properly. I though it said 7.39. I said to Mark (McKoy) 'I've just missed it again.' It was only when I turned round and came back down the banking that I saw it was 7.29, which they rounded up. Linford came across to me and said: 'Christ] You've annihilated it]'
'But the funny thing was it didn't feel like it was exceptional. I have run quicker in training. I know I have.'
Jackson is a genial character not generally given to ringing predictions. But he said he was going to break the record at Sindelfingen, his favourite indoor track, and he was as good as his word. You wonder how he could have been so sure.
Part of the answer surely stems from his performance in last year's World Championships in Stuttgart, 10 miles down the road from Sindelfingen, when he set a world record of 12.91sec over 110m hurdles and dispersed any lingering suspicions that when it came to really big occasions, he could not handle the pressure.
Another part seems almost to have been a matter of logic. 'My personal best was equal to the world record,' he said. 'And I knew I was better than my best. Hence I was going to break it.' Simple, isn't it?
After a special committee meeting, Folkestone AC have written to Peter Radford, the British Athletics Federation's executive chairman, asking him to suspend the promotions director, Andy Norman, until a disciplinary hearing on his conduct can take place. It is alleged that Norman made threats to the journalist, coach and Folkestone member, Cliff Temple, who later committed suicide. Norman has submitted a medical certificate stating that he is too ill to face a disciplinary hearing.Reuse content