Christie stays the distance: Athletics

With his 37th birthday in sight, Linford Christie continues to thrive on competition. The 1992 Olympic gold medallist easily beat his training partner and protege, Darren Campbell, in the 100 metres at the Melbourne Grand Prix yesterday.

Christie did just enough to win in 10.20sec, with Campbell finishing in 10.26 and the Australian, Steve Brimacombe, third in 10.42. Tony Jarrett was beaten in the 110m hurdles by the experienced American, Jack Pierce, finishing in 13.62sec behind Pierce's 13.54.

At the same meeting, Emma George, Australia's pole vault world record- holder, broke her own record, jumping 4.55 metres to better the 4.50 she jumped earlier this month. The former trapeze artist has only been competing in this event for two years.

Reebok yesterday announced a four-year sponsorship deal with the British Athletics Federation worth around pounds 1m a year. The deal, which has been known about for some weeks, is for kit and footwear for British teams.

Ben Johnson's attempts to race competitively again were dismissed as "strange" by the International Amateur Athletic Federation yesterday.

The 35-year-old Canadian sprinter, banned for life after a second positive drug test in 1993, was said by his manager Morris Chrobotek to have made a request for reinstatement, but an IAAF spokesman, Giorgio Reineri, said: "We have had an exchange of papers but we haven't received any official request from the Canadian Federation.

"Ben Johnson did not appeal when he was banned for life three years ago. It's a little strange that three years on he suddenly wants to do so. I don't know if there is any probability of him being reinstated."

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