Edwards targets new world record

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Edwards, who hopes to add the Olympic triple-jump title this summer to the World Championship gold medal he won last year, said yesterday that he was capable of a legal jump of 18.50 metres - 20cm more than his current world record.

Edwards, who was announcing a sponsorship deal with Puma said to be worth a potential pounds 500,000 over three years, said he was determined to concentrate on his own efforts, rather than worrying about his rivals.

Having won in Gothenburg last summer with 18.29m, the 29-year-old said he is now trying to combine the speed and adrenalin of that performance with the technical excellence he displayed a wind-assisted 18.43m in the European Cup at Lille.

"If those qualities come together, a legal 18.50 is feasible," he said. "There is a healthy bit of fear in me which thinks it might not happen again and it's all going to be terribly embarrassing. I could lose all season, but as long as I win in Atlanta, that's the one that matters."

Edwards, whose new contract is the most lucrative ever for a British field-event athlete, leaves next week for three months' training in Florida.

n John Ngugi has said he wants to seek a record sixth World Cross-country Championship next month in South Africa, despite finishing only 96th in the Kenyan championship. The Kenyan federation said Ngugi would have to "prove his fitness before being selected".