China's Liu Xiang, who equalled Colin Jackson's 110-metre hurdles world record of 12.91sec in winning the Olympic title two years ago, made the mark his own in Lausanne last night as he ran the distance in 12.88sec.
Liu's flourish, after which he completed a lap of honour in just his running shorts as his time was confirmed, means only two Britons now hold world records in mainstream events - the triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, whose 1995 mark of 18.29 metres has not been approached, and the marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, who has announced she is expecting a baby on 6 January.
The 32-year-old Bedford runner expects to be competing again by next spring and believes she can defend her world marathon title in Osaka next summer. "My recent foot injury made me realise I was never going to decide to reach the Beijing Olympics and then give it up to have children," said Radcliffe, whose husband Gary Lough is also her manager. "So we decided to give it a go. We are ready to be parents, and if you are happy, you run better."
Liu will be contemplating the 2008 Games on home soil with a rising sense of excitement. "I'm feeling very tired, very happy and very excited," he said. "Switzerland is my lucky place and I love the fans here," he said in reference to his first win at a grand prix meeting in 2002.
The swift Swiss track, which saw Leroy Burrell set a then world 100m record of 9.85sec in 1994, also encouraged the former double Olympic champion Marion Jones to maintain her strong return to the sport with victory in 10.94sec, her second sub-11sec 100m in three days.
Jones, who came under scrutiny in connection with the Balso doping scandal, even though she has never failed a drugs test, ran 10.92sec to win the 100m in Saturday's Paris Golden League meeting.Reuse content