Chinese drop 'out of form' Wang

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The Independent Online
China's world 10,000 metres record holder, Wang Junxia, and her estranged coach, Ma Junren, have been dropped from the Chinese squad for the World Championships starting in Gothenburg on Saturday week.

The Chinese Athletic Association said that Wang and her fellow distance runners were not in peak form due to their dispute with their former coach over prize-money and complaints about discipline.

The Chinese women thus look unlikely to match the impact they made upon the 1993 World Championships. That represents good news for Britain's 10,000m competitors, Jill Hunter, Yvonne Murray and Liz McColgan, who ran a career-best 14min 59.56sec at the weekend as Portugal's Fernando Ribeiro set a world record of 14:36.45.

Marie-Jose Perec, who will attempt the 400m and 400m hurdles double at the World Championships after an alteration in the timetable, had a setback to her ambitions at last night's Monte Carlo Grand Prix. The Olympic title holder was beaten over 400m by Australia's Commonwealth champion, Cathy Freeman, who recorded 50.35.

Perec's main American rival in the 400m hurdles, Kim Batten, won last night in 53.86, 0.06sec faster than Perec's best.