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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower