Christie's cause for optimism

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The Independent Online
Linford Christie measured his form against the 100m world record holder in Nuremburg last night, and although the Briton was well beaten by Donovan Bailey, his time offered plenty of reason for optimism about next weekend's European Cup, writes Mike Rowbottom.

Bailey, the man who took over Christie's world and Olympic titles, underlined his position as the world's top man over the distance by winning in 9.94sec, with the Briton finishing second in 10.05sec. Davidson Ezinwa of Nigeria was third in 10.08sec.

Jamie Baulch, who has benefited from Christie's coaching over the winter, earned a 400m victory in 45.26sec ahead of Matthias Rusterholz, of Switzerland.

Britain's two other world champions from 1993, Sally Gunnell and Colin Jackson, were also in action over the hurdles.

Jackson finished third over the 110m hurdles in 13.40 behind the German pair of Florian Schwarthoff, who won in 13.30, and Mike Fenner, who clocked 13.40.

Gunnell was third in the 400m hurdles in 55.37sec behind home runner Sonia Rieger, who recorded 54.63, and the winner in 54.55, Nezha Bidouane of Morocco, who won the Rome grand prix last week.

Haile Gebrselassie, new holder of the world two miles record but not a recipient of a million dollars for breaking eight minutes, provided another high quality performance over 5,000m, winning in 12min 54.55sec, 10 sec off his own world record. Moses Kiptanui of Kenya was second in 13min 03.00sec.

Denise Lewis, new holder of the British heptathlon record, was third in a top quality long jump, recording 6.57m behind the world champion Fiona May, who jumped 6.71, and the Olympic champion Chioma Ajunwa, who recorded 6.70.