Athletics: McKoy denies Jackson winning double: Mike Rowbottom reports from Birmingham

COLIN JACKSON was denied a winning double at yesterday's Amateur Athletic Association indoor championships by the starting speed of his good friend and rival Mark McKoy. It will not worry him unduly.

The Welshman's preparations for next month's world indoor championships in Toronto continued apace - a fast pace - as he involved himself in five rounds of racing and ended the afternoon with a fourth title over 60m hurdles and second place behind McKoy over 60m flat.

His high hurdles time of 7.55sec was well outside the 7.44 which he had produced in the same arena a week earlier, but if there was any question that he was less sharp generally it was dispelled by his time of 6.60 in the 60m - 0.05 inside Nigel Walker's Welsh record.

Jackson will not be tempted to double up in Toronto. 'I think I will have my hands full with the hurdles,' he said. 'If it had been the European indoors I would have done, but at the world indoors you have to be more serious.' He will compete in Karlsruhe next Saturday before travelling to Canada.

McKoy's winning 60m time of 6.56 was a personal best, but the Canadian Olympic champion still feels he will struggle to compete with Jackson next month.

'I think it is going to take a little more than a home crowd for me to beat Colin,' he said. 'The only time I think I can beat Colin now is if he beats himself. Which is not very often. He's definitely the best hurdler in the world now. But he was definitely the best hurdler in the world last year.'

Jason John's prospects of inclusion at both 60m and 200m when the squad for Toronto is announced today look extremely bright. John, a 21-year-old from Birmingham, matched Jackson's time in the 60m, taking third place, and won the 200m in 21.17.

Tom McKean, who has lost two of his three early season races against David Sharpe, had a rare run-out free of the ginger-haired Geordie and found himself concentrating mainly on the clock as he attempted to better his 800m championship record of 1min 46.49sec. Running the last 400m on his own, he finished some way outside his target in 1.47.27.

It was not exactly an ecstatic send-off for the world indoors, but it shows the Scot is moving in the right direction. It looks as if he will not be accompanied by Sharpe, who said in midweek that he was not interested in competing in the championships in Toronto.

'It doesn't matter whether David is there or not,' McKean said with a grin. 'I would finish in front of him.

'I had a disastrous season last year, and the indoor season has helped me get a lot of confidence back. I'm definitely looking for a medal from Toronto now.'

Linda Keogh, the former British No 1 at 400m who has missed more than a year with injury, returned to the scene with a convincing win over 800m.

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