Christie edged out by Bailey

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The Independent Online
Linford Christie was beaten over 100 metres by Canada's world champion, Donovan Bailey, in a photo finish in his last major test before the Atlanta Olympics at the Nice Grand Prix last night.

The 36-year-old Briton seemed to be in control after 50 metres but Bailey came back strongly. Bailey was given victory, both clocking 10.17sec.

Christie, who has been suffering from a slight hamstring injury since being outclassed by his training partner Frankie Fredericks in Lausanne last week, was not disappointed to be heading to America without a major victory under his belt in the south of France. "I've not trained since Lausanne and I'm pretty happy running 10.17 tonight," he said.

Christie is due to run in London tomorrow before heading to the United States but the field it not expected to be strong.

Hassiba Boulmerka, the world and Olympic 1500 metres champion from Algeria, suffered a demoralising defeat in her first major outing of the season. After leading at the bell, Boulmerka was unable to stay with the pace on the last lap as Portugal's Carla Sacramento continued her superb season with victory in 4min 2.64sec.

The Russia Ludmilla Rogachova, who had picked up the pace dramatically with a burst 300 metres from the finish, took second place in 4:02.69. Boulmerka finished seventh in 4:05.87.

Torrance Zellner, who failed to make the United States Olympic team, was another to upset the preparations of a medal contender in the build- up to Atlanta. He defeated Zambia's world silver medallist, Samuel Matete, in the men's 400m hurdles. Matete was unable to produce another of his fast finishes and Zellner just held him off to win in 48.24sec. Matete finished second, just 0.03sec behind.

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