Barber's Olympic place in jeopardy

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The Independent Online

The world heptathlon champion, Eunice Barber, is not yet eligible to compete for France at the Sydney Olympics, according to reports from France yesterday.

The French sports newspaper L'Equipe said the French Olympic Committee had failed to ask Barber's native Sierra Leone to give permission for her to take part at this year's Games.

"It's up to the French Olympic committee to do it, but for the athlete to be relaxed it is important that we get the go-ahead very soon," said the French Athletics Federation chief, Philippe Lamblin.

Barber competed for France at the 1999 World Championships after taking part for Sierra Leone at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.

Wilson Kipketer's 1,000 metres world indoor record has been officially ratified by the International Amateur Athletic Federation. The Kenyan-born Kipketer, who runs for Denmark, broke the record twice during the winter, clocking 2min 15.25sec in Stuttgart, Germany, and then 2:14.96 in Birmingham. The previous record of 2:15.26 was held by the Algerian Noureddine Morceli.

Also ratified by the IAAF was the women's junior outdoor 3,000m steeplechase record set by the Australian Melissa Rollison in Sydney with a time of 10:10.73.