Edwards may miss trials

Athletics
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The Independent Online
Jonathan Edwards is so concerned about his form that he may ask to be excused Britain's Olympic trials in Birmingham next week. The world triple jump champion has won all three competitions this season, taking his unbeaten run to 17, but he trailed until his final jump at Wednesday's Golden Gala grand prix in Rome and admitted to jumping "like a sack of potatoes."

He added: "Like everyone else I've been told I have to do the trials and the last thing I want is to gain any advantage. But it has to be the aim of the selectors to make sure they send athletes to the Games in the best possible shape and with the best chance of medals.

"My form is awful and I might consider not going to the trials. It's feeling like the end of the season rather than the beginning. There's no excitement or buzz about my jumping. I'm running quickly, but there is no real zap.

"It's difficult to know what is going on. I have a bruised heel and my knee is sore but I don't know how much of it is physical. Maybe I'm just not being positive enough.

"After years of being ordinary, I've been catapulted into a situation where the event is suddenly all about me. I'm certainly finding out that there can be isolation and loneliness with success as well as failure."

The British Athletic Federation introduced a tough new selection policy to avoid last year's controversy over their World Championship team. Edwards was among several leading athletes who were listed separately when the team was announced and ordered to prove their fitness after missing the trials. He did so spectacularly by setting a new world record in Salamanca and went on to break it twice more at the championships.

Colin Jackson and Sally Gunnell seek to overcome their early season problems at a meeting in Nuremburg tonight. Linford Christie is also there for his first race against the world 100m champion, Donovan Bailey, since the Canadian accused him of feigning a hamstring injury at the World Championships.

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