Jarrett looms large on Jackson's heels

BY MIKE ROWBOTTOM

Colin Jackson, beaten for the first time in 18 months on Thursday night, has an early opportunity to establish a new unbeaten run in Glasgow today as he competes for Britain in the Interflora international against France.

But Tony Jarrett, Britain's other entrant in the 60-metre hurdles, must fancy his chances of postponing Jackson's revival, given the world champion's downbeat reaction to his photo- finish defeat in Madrid by Allen Johnson, of the United States.

Jackson, who did not seem entirely convinced about the result after viewing the replay, said: "I'm not really training for anything indoors right now. I've no real incentive to be out there running. When you come out and run indoors when you're not 100 per cent prepared, you have to expect to be beaten."

The Welshman, whose unbeaten sprint hurdles record stretched back 44 races to the 1993 Berlin Grand Prix, clocked the same time as Johnson, 7.42sec. But the former NCAA champion from North Carolina was declared the winner with the world's fastest time this year.

"I wanted to win to show he's not invincible," Johnson said. Jackson, who will not run at the World Indoor Championships, will need to pick himself up smartly to hold off Jarrett, who finished equal second behind him in Stuttgart last Sunday with the same time of 7.44.

Jackson's friend and training partner, Linford Christie, opens his domestic season over 60m against Mike Rosswess, who earned a rare victory over him this time last year.

Sally Gunnell has had to drop out of the 400m because of an ankle injury, but John Regis, who broke his own British indoor record in Stuttgart last Sunday, runs again, accompanied in the 200m by Solomon Wariso, who becomes the first Briton to return to the international team after a drugs ban.

While it looks like business as usual for the established Britons, the occasion will provide a real challenge for the 18-year-old Mark Hylton and the 23-year-old Abigail Hunte, who make their British debuts at 400 and 800m respectively.

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