Regis edges closer to world record

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The Independent Online
John Regis broke his own seven-year-old British indoor 200 metres record in Stuttgart yesterday. His time of 20.47sec in the Sparkassen Cup, the first event in the new Ricoh indoor tour, took 0.07sec of his old mark and brought him closer to the world record of 20.36 held by Bruno Marie-Rose, of France.

"When the adrenalin is really flowing I believe I can get close to it," Regis said. The ideal opportunity would appear to be the World Indoor Championships in Barcelona next month.

Colin Jackson maintained the unbeaten high hurdles record that stretched throughout last season, but only just. His winning time of 7.44sec was shared by the second and third placed athletes, Allen Johnson and Britain's Tony Jarrett.

Nico Motchebon, of Germany, set a world indoor 800m record of 1min 44.88sec, taking 0.03sec off the mark set by Sebastian Coe in March 1983.

Unlike Jackson, Regis had competed in the previous day's AAA Indoor Championships at Birmingham, where he ran 6.73sec to finish fourth in the 60m behind Mike Rosswess.

Earlier in the afternoon, Mark Hylton, an 18-year-old from the Windsor and Eton club, gave notice of his ability to make the kind of impact on British athletics that Rosswess achieved in reaching the 1988 Olympic 200m final after only 18 months in the sport. He set a British junior 400m record of 46.56sec in beating Brian Whittle and the French international Jacques Farraudier.

Having finished fourth in last year's world junior championships, Hylton's main ambition this summer is to become the fifth successive Briton to win the European junior title.

"There are a lot of good 400m runners in this country," he said. "Hopefully in a couple of years I will be with them." On Saturday's evidence, that looks highly likely.

Hylton appeared to ease down at the end of his race, but that deceleration, he later confirmed, was simply the result of lactic acid.

There was no disguising the effort expended by Melanie Neef as she added a Scottish 400m record to the ones she has already gained this season over 60 and 200m. After running 52.82sec, this most articulate of individuals could not speak, or, briefly, stand.

Before embarking on her second race of the day - a mad dash to catch her last flight to Edinburgh - she had time to reflect briefly on the prospect of racing alongside Sally Gunnell in next Saturday's match against France. "I'm not scared to race her," she said. "I need a good run with someone to chase."

Solomon Wariso chased and passed his Haringey colleague Darren Braithwaite to earn the 200m title and, almost certainly, a recall to the British team next week. The British Athletic Federation have always insisted that his three-month suspension for taking a banned stimulant was the result of an innocent mistake; it was fitting, therefore, that the BAF executive chairman, Peter Radford, should present him with his medal.

BAF will be less happy with the organisational misjudgement which caused the women pole vaulters to start nearly two and a half hours late. Kate Staples raised her Commonwealth record to 3.80m in a virtually empty arena.

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