At the world championships in Tokyo last year Jack Pierce was unlucky not to snatch Foster's crown, with the Briton Tony Jarrett taking the bronze medal. Colin Jackson, silver medalist in Seoul and Britain's best hope, pulled out of his semi-final after a freak injury sustained while warming up. Jackson was unable to resume training until December, but his progress back to full form since then has been relentless.
He has met all his main opponents this season without suffering defeat. The new-generation Americans joined the European grand prix circuit late on, but in London Jackson beat them all - and his closest rival, Tony Dees, twice over in one evening. In doing so Jackson recorded a new personal best of 13.06 sec, exactly the same time as Foster and Pierce ran in Tokyo. Dees, however, was only .02 of a second behind in the second race.
Malcolm Arnold, Jackson's coach, knows how close the contest is. 'There's about a yard between the best five at the moment. It only takes someone to lift their game or make a mess.' But Jackson's recent form has been immaculate.
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