Jackson calling the shots

Athletics

The domestic outdoor season gets fully underway in Cardiff today as a selection of Britain's great and good respond to the call of the world 110 metres hurdles world record holder, Colin Jackson, who is doubling up as promoter of the Welsh Games on his home track.

Jackson, who is due to run against the reigning Olympic high hurdles champion, Mark McKoy, is banking on a crowd of between 5,000 and 6,000 after calling in several favours from friends in the sport and attracting names such as Linford Christie, who will make his first British outdoor appearance of the season over 150 metres.

Elsewhere in the programme the theme is that of comebacks. Tessa Sanderson, who returned to javelin throwing last weekend after a three-year absence and achieved the Olympic qualifying distance of 60 metres, attempts to improve on that today.

Jon Ridgeon, named like Sanderson in the European Cup team for next weekend, runs in the 400m hurdles as part of his return after four years out with injury, building on his recent run in Turkey in the European Clubs Cup. And Diane Modahl marks her return to big time athletics after being cleared of doping offences by running at 600m.

Jackson's influence has meant he can stage an event which he estimates would normally have cost around pounds 250,000 - nominally an international match between Wales, Ireland and Croatia - to arrange.

"It's a dream come true to put something back into the sport here," Jackson said. "There have been a few headaches along the way, but it has been well worth it."

Modahl yesterday promised to force Britain's selectors to pick her after being overlooked for the European Cup team. The former Commonwealth 800m champion runs the first of three races in five days in Cardiff today and is determined to make her comeback a "magical" one.

Modahl, who finally had her name cleared by the International Amateur Athletic Federation two months ago, heard on Wednesday that the 800m place for Madrid next weekend had gone to the world bronze medallist, Kelly Holmes. "It was disappointing not to be picked for the European Cup," she said. "I want to be part of the British team again. It is one of the aims of coming to terms with what happened to me.

"But it is just another event on the calendar. I'm sure that by the time the mid-season comes around it will be difficult for the selectors not to pick me on my performance."

Modahl, who is still fighting the British Athletic Federation for compensation for her drugs case nightmare, returns to international competition for the first time for nearly two years with 800m races in Hengelo on Monday and Bratislava on Wednesday.

"It will be quite nerve-racking," she said. "But those meetings will give me the chance to rub shoulders again with athletes of the highest calibre.

"It has been difficult returning to the competitive arena. Everything that has happened has come flooding back. The Olympics are a serious goal, but the most important thing for me is to feel comfortable again with athletes, tracks and officials. Once I do that I'm sure that I can start running well. I'm determined to make this comeback a magical experience."

The event also gives an opportunity to Jamie Baulch, who will challenge for one of the Olympic 400m places this season, to show how much he has improved in the last year in front of a home crowd. Meanwhile Sally Gunnell, who did not run last season because of injury, plans to return to 400m hurdling at a meeting in Jena, Germany, today.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015