Greene forced to miss showdown at Palace

Maurice Greene has been forced to withdraw from the British Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 5 August because of injury. The 100 metres world champion, who pulled up with cramp during his 200m showdown Michael Johnson at the US Olympic trials, is expected to have a two-week lay-off from competition, although he has started training again.

Maurice Greene has been forced to withdraw from the British Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 5 August because of injury. The 100 metres world champion, who pulled up with cramp during his 200m showdown Michael Johnson at the US Olympic trials, is expected to have a two-week lay-off from competition, although he has started training again.

Greene's manager, Emmanuel Hudson, said: "Maurice was suffering from cramp. He's had a couple of days rest and now he's back in training. But he won't be ready for London."

Ato Boldon, the world 200m champion, has confirmed he will run in the 100m at the Grand Prix where he will take on Donovan Bailey, of Canada, and Britain's Darren Campbell.

Johnson reaffirmed yesterday that he would not run any more 200m races this year, but did not rule out running the distance again in the future. "Even though I indicated that in my preparations for the 400m in the Olympic Games I would not be running any more 200m races this year, I never intended this plan to be interpreted as my retirement from the 200m," Johnson said. "My competition plans for next season are still completely open."

Johnson and Greene both suffered hamstring injuries in Sunday's 200m final at the US Olympic trials in Sacramento and neither will be eligible for the event at the Olympics. Johnson will run the 400m and 4x400m relay and Greene the 100m and 4x100m relay.Johnson said he would resume training in Texas early next week with the intention of competing at a few meets inEurope next month before the Games.

Rudi Thiel, the director of the Berlin Golden League meeting on 1 September, said on Wednesday Johnson wanted to run the 200m there, but Johnson's website (michaeljohnson.org) has him scheduled to run the 400m in Berlin. It also lists a 300m race in Malmo on 5 August and a 400m in Zurich on 11 August. Meetings in Brussels and Rieti, where Johnson was to run 200m, remain on the schedule with no event listed.

"I have no interest in participating in any more build-up for any potential 'Johnson versus Anybody' showdowns," the double Olympic champion said. "The actual races never seem to live up to the hype, and this leaves almost everyone, especially the fans, very disappointed, which in the end hurts, not helps, track and field."

The heptathlon confrontation between Denise Lewis and Eunice Barber in today's Decastar 2000 meeting in Talence, France, has been called off following the French athlete's withdrawal. But Britain's reigning European and Commonwealth champion will still expect the pressure to be on when she contests seven events for the first time since winning the silver medal in Seville last September.

After that competition Lewis had a knee operation but missed her first heptathlon of the year at the beginning of June in Gotzis following a shoulder injury. Now Lewis is ready to put up a big score with Barber nursing a hamstringinjury and another casualty, Ghada Shouaa, of Syria, unlikely to defend her Olympic crown.

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