Jackson quick to present his Olympic credentials

Colin Jackson emerged from the treatment table with a sparkling snap in his hurdling stride last night. Five days after visiting the Munich clinic of the sports injury guru, Heinz-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, for treatment to a troublesome hamstring, Britain's only track and field world champion blasted from his starting blocks to record his fastest 110m hurdles time of the year in the Sachsen Meeting at Chemnitz in Germany.

Colin Jackson emerged from the treatment table with a sparkling snap in his hurdling stride last night. Five days after visiting the Munich clinic of the sports injury guru, Heinz-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, for treatment to a troublesome hamstring, Britain's only track and field world champion blasted from his starting blocks to record his fastest 110m hurdles time of the year in the Sachsen Meeting at Chemnitz in Germany.

The Welshman was impressive enough in his heat, clocking a season's best of 13.27sec, and he was even quicker in the final an hour later, crossing the line in 13.20sec - 0.09sec clear of Falk Balzer, the German who won the European Cup race in Jackson's absence at Gateshead last Sunday. It was not just confirmation of Jackson's fitness but a warning to his Olympic rivals, Anier Garcia of Cuba and American, Allen Johnson, that gold in Sydney is in his sights.

"I think the time says that I'm back," he said. "Not many people run 13.20 in their third race of the season. I've still got things to work on but I'm getting there, though."

The same cannot be said of Merlene Ottey, although her failure to qualify for the 100m in the Jamaican trials has not curtailed her Olympic ambitions. Indeed, fourth place in the final in Kingston has secured the 40-year-old veteran an appearance in what will be her sixth Olympic Games with a place in her national 4 x 100m relay team for Sydney. She still has the opportunity to qualify for 200m, but it was clear in the 100m final that the time Ottey lost before the sudden lifting of her suspension has taken its toll on her sharpness.

The fastest qualifier from Thursday's heats with 11.09sec, the grand dame of world sprinting could manage only 11.27sec in a close-run race won in 11.19sec by Peta-Gaye Dowdie. "I wasn't in the best shape," Ottey confessed. "It was good for Jamaica to see me one more time, though."

It was only on 7 July that Ottey was cleared to return to competition, when the International Amateur Athletic Federation made the surprise announcement that they did not have sufficient evidence of her guilt following her positive test for the anabolic steroid nandrolone in Lucerne last July.

In less sombre mood yesterday was Tegla Loroupe, the marathon world record holder and winner of the this year's London Marathon. After cruising to a 10,000m victory in the Kenyan trials in Nairobi, clocking 32min 13.00sec, she announced her intention to tackle a daunting 10,000m-marathon double in Sydney. The 10,000m heats are only three days after the marathon but Loroupe said: "I'm definitely going for both events."

Her announcement will no doubt be noted with interest by Paula Radcliffe. The Briton took the 10,000m silver medal ahead of Loroupe at the world championships in Seville last August and is starting to belatedly focus on her competitive build-up to the 10,000m in Sydney following a series of setbacks this year.

Radcliffe was hit by a virus after her two top five placings in the world cross country championships in March and has since undergone surgery to repair a damaged knee and a torn calf muscle. On Wednesday, though, she tests her fitness against Britain's European Cup 1500m winner Helen Pattinson in the metric mile at the adidas-Cuitat meeting in Barcelona. Then on Saturday week she has a 5,000m date with Sonia O'Sullivan at Crystal Palace in the Norwich Union British Grand Prix.

Moses Tanui, twice winner of the Boston City marathon has been cut from Kenya's Olympic marathon team along with the current Boston marathon champion, Elijah Lagat and Japheth Kosgei, because the panel of selectors thought they had become complacent. In addition, Daniel Komen, the 3,000m world record holder, and world steeplechase champion, Christopher Kosgei, were both casualties of Kenya's trials.

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