Christie misses chance to settle Olympic score

Athletics

In what was possibly, even probably, his last appearance on this fabled track, Linford Christie encountered neither triumph nor disaster last night - but something in between.

The man whose defence of the Olympic title ended with two false starts two weeks ago did not handicap himself in similar fashion. However, a third consecutive win at the Zurich Grand Prix proved beyond him. This was the 36-year-old's biggest opportunity to set the record straight against the men who had claimed the Atlanta booty. Against a field that included the gold and bronze medallists, Christie was third behind the winner, Dennis Mitchell of the United States. He recorded the same time - 10.06sec - as the second-placed runner, the world and Olympic champion Donovan Bailey.

Zurich has been Christie's special hunting ground in recent times. Two years ago, in torrential rain, he beat the best Americans. Last season he proved a point again by beating Bailey after the Canadian had taken over his world title. On both occasions Christie was jubilant, firing imaginary pistols into a crowd which chanted his name, football-style. Last night the guns were silent.

Christie, who was not sure of where he had placed until he consulted the TV monitor beyond the finish line, was a sombre figure afterwards. Would victory here have done something to efface the memory of Atlanta? He wrinkled up his face and shook his head. "Not really. Even if I had won, the Olympics are the Olympics. And they have gone."

Zurich experienced the 20th world record in its history after another astonishing performance by the woman who can now claim to be the world's leading middle-distance runner. Svetlana Masterkova, Russia's double Olympic champion, reduced Paula Ivan's seven-year-old mark for the mile of 4min 15.61sec, finishing 25m clear of the pack in 4:12.57.

Remarkably, the 28-year-old Russian had never run a mile race before last night. It was a fine season's finale for Masterkova, who was the surprise winner of the Olympic 800 and 1500m. Masterkova, who speaks fluent Spanish and has a home near Alicante, only returned to the international circuit this season after giving birth to a daughter, Anastasia, last year.

Jonathan Edwards was still unable to recapture the form which brought him the world triple jump title and world record last season. But a final- round jump of 17.79m assured him of victory over the man who took gold to his silver in Atlanta last month, Kenny Harrison. The American managed only two counting jumps, the best of them 17.23m.

The women's 100m produced a moment of ironic confusion. In the aftermath of a close finish involving Merlene Ottey, Gwen Torrence and Gail Devers, the winner's bouquet was handed to Devers. The decision was hardly surprising, given Devers's history of winning close calls between herself and Ottey: the 36-year-old Jamaican had lost out to Devers over 100m on two crucial occasions - the 1993 World Championships, where the American was adjudged winner by 0.001sec, and last month's Olympic final, where Devers won by the twist of a shoulder despite a protest from the Jamaicans. When the announcement went up that Ottey had got the verdict - 10.95sec to Torrence's 10.96 and Devers's 11.00 - the American was briefly bemused before delivering the flowers to their rightful destination.

Samuel Komen, the 20-year-old Kenyan who missed the world 3,000m record by 0.05sec in Monaco on Saturday, came close to another last night. Komen, who did not qualify for the Olympics, won the 5,000m in 12min 45.10sec, 0.71sec outside the world record held by Haile Gebrselassie, set on the same track last year. The Ethiopian was left 25m adrift.

Any hopes that Roger Black might have had of improving his British 400m record of 44.37sec disappeared in the wake of Anthuan Maybank, the American who had headed him home in the Olympic relay final. Maybank won last night in 44.18. Black finished fourth in 44.83.

Colin Jackson's melancholy season shows no sign of improving. Britain's 110m hurdles world record holder, diminished by tendinitis in his knee, was just a blur among the also-rans last night. But there was something of a turn-up as the Olympic champion, Allen Johnson, behind whom Jackson finished fourth in Atlanta, was beaten by his fellow American Jack Pierce in 13.22sec.

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone