Jackson's pursuit of gold gains impetus

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The Independent Online

Colin Jackson will open his summer season next month with three races in five days as he steps up his preparations for capturing the 110 metres Olympic gold later this year.

Jackson needs no reminding, with World, European and Commonwealth titles already under his belt, that Sydney will be his last opportunity to complete the "grand slam" of track and field gold medals which only two Britons, Linford Christie and Sally Gunnell, have achieved.

"Colin will race in Athens on 28 June, then at the Golden League meeting in Rome two days later," his Austrian manager, Robert Wagner, said. "He will then return to Britain to take part in the international match against the United States in Glasgow on 2 July.

"Colin will try simulating a racing programme at these meetings similar to what he can expect to undergo in Sydney. Certainly his first three meetings fall into this category and he will also try repeating the schedule at other meetings later in the year."

The former Olympic 5,000m champion Dieter Baumann's appeal against a ruling not to allow him to resume competing while awaiting a final decision on his doping case will be heard on 18 May, a court spokesman said yesterday.

The Darmstadt branch of the Frankfurt appeal court will then decide whether the original ruling should be overturned.

If the court rules in his favour Baumann, who has been suspended since last November after testing positive for nandrolone, could compete in the German championships on 27 May.

The 1992 Olympic 5,000m gold medallist wants to compete in order to set an Olympic 10,000m standard time, hoping he might then be cleared by athletics officials and allowed to go to Sydney.

The 35-year-old Baumann currently faces a two-year ban which would effectively end his career. The legal committee of the German Athletics Federation is expected to reach its final verdict in the next few weeks.