Athletics: Murray to miss Gateshead meeting

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The Independent Online
YVONNE MURRAY yesterday withdrew from Friday's invitation meeting at Gateshead as a precaution after suffering what her coach, Tommy Boyle, said was a minor calf cramp. Murray had been due to run the 800 metres in the last major domestic meeting before the Olympics.

Roger Black, who will run his last 400m before the Games in Nice tonight, has also decided against appearing at Gateshead, where he had planned to compete over 200 metres against a field which includes Danny Everett.

However, the meeting may include Matthew Yates, still seeking to convince himself and the selectors he is ready to take up the Olympic 1500m place offered to him after a recent viral infection.

Yates' latest attempt to sharpen up, in Salamanca on Monday, produced a poor time of 3min 44.05sec as he finished 10th in a low-key 1500m. He has now gone to Madrid and will decide on his racing plans later in the week. As there is now no chance of anyone taking his place, the deadline for entries having passed, the selectors will allow him to go beyond his original date of 21 July before making a firm decision.

Meanwhile, the Finns, who have seen Jan Zelezny, of Czechoslovakia, set new standards in the javelin event which is so dear to their hearts, are now questioning the legality of the implement he used for his world record of 94.74m in Oslo the Saturday before last.

'The new javelin designed by Miklos Nemeth violates international rules,' Eero Uotilach, of the Finnish sports federation, said. He maintained that the removable carbon-fibre shell which reduces vibration in the air was an addition to the javelin in contravention of International Amateur Athletic Federation rules, which state that it should consist of three parts: 'a head, a shaft and a cord grip'.

Danny Everett and Steve Lewis, two members of the US 4 x 400m team, said in London yesterday they would be 'upset and unhappy' if Michael Johnson was allowed to appear in the final of the relay at the Olympics. Traditionally the first four in the 400m at the US trial make up the relay team, but it has been proposed that Johnson, the world 200m champion, should replace Andrew Valmon, who was fourth, behind Everett, Lewis and Quincy Watts. Everett said: 'As Johnson didn't put himself on the line in the trial, we don't think he should be allowed to run the final.'