ATHLETICS: Mayock plans Belfast return

ATHLETICS

JOHN MAYOCK, forced to miss next month's World Indoor Championships because of injury, plans to be back in time for the World Cross-country Championships on 27-28 March.

The European indoor 3,000m champion, named yesterday in the British team for Belfast, is currently in Ireland receiving treatment from Ger Hartmann, the physiotherapist Liz McColgan credits with saving her career. But Mayock indicated to the selectors that he would be fit enough to contest the 4km race in what is now a two-day cross-country event.

Britain's leading cross-country runners Paula Radcliffe and Jon Brown, who missed Saturday's trials at Nottingham in order to prepare on the other side of the Atlantic, were included in the six-strong teams for the longer Belfast races, over 8km and 12km respectively. Radcliffe joins the first three home in the trials - Angela Mudge, Tara Kryswicki and Lucy Wright. The remaining two discretionary places go to athletes who missed the trial - Birhan Dagne, the 21-year-old Ethiopian currently applying for full British citizenship, and Vikki McPherson of Scotland.

McPherson's fellow Scot Hayley Haining, whose unexpected 13th place in last year's World Championships helped Britain to an unexpected team bronze, told selectors she was unavailable because of a calf injury.

The American Jackie Joyner-Kersee will lose her world heptathlon record at the end of this year due to a technical change to the women's javelin.

From 1 April a new javelin with a slightly different centre of gravity will be used in women's competitions so that the implement will land more consistently on its tip.

As the javelin is one of the seven disciplines used in the heptathlon, the International Amateur Athletic Association has decided to erase Joyner- Kersee's mark of 7,291 points set at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

GB squad, Digest, page 27

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