Ridgeon comes full circle
Thursday 23 May 1996
The 29-year-old former world 110m hurdles silver medallist has risen to the top of the British rankings on his third comeback after desperate Achilles tendon problems which required four operations.
Now he will compete in his first European Cup in a team which also includes the former Olympic javelin champion Tessa Sanderson who, like him, last competed for Britain at the 1992 World Cup in Havana.
"It's a miracle I'm back," Ridgeon said. "I was told I would never run again and I never thought I would. It's a dream come true. There is still a way to go and I must be cautious. But I've been training for six months now without any interruptions. As I learn the event again, I'm sure I can go quicker and then start thinking about the Olympics."
Sanderson, 40, will compete in her seventh European Cup after coming out of retirement last Saturday and immediately achieving the Olympic javelin qualifying standard. Her first was in 1975 when some of the team- mates she will join on 1 and 2 June were not even born. But there is no 800m return yet for Diane Modahl, who was finally cleared of drug-taking by the International Amateur Athletic Federation two months ago.
The double World Championship medallist Kelly Holmes switches to the two-lap event after a shaky opening 1500m in Atlanta on Saturday. She will take stock of the situation after an 800m this weekend and Modahl will come into contention for her place if there are more problems. But two girls, Hayley Parry and Sonya Bowyer, are ahead of her in the rankings.
The selectors have gone for European champion Du'aine Ladejo ahead of Mark Richardson in the 400m - Britain's most competitive event - and Dalton Grant before Steve Smith in the high jump. Linford Christie bids to extend his remarkable record in the competition to seven successive 100m wins. Christie, who has yet to say whether he will defend his Olympic title, also goes in the 200m, aiming for a third consecutive sprint double.
Sally Gunnell and Colin Jackson are back after missing last year's meeting through injury and illness, while Jonathan Edwards renews his association with the competition which launched his amazing triple jump sequence in Lille 12 months ago.
Automatic choices missing are Steve Backley, who has had an Achilles operation, John Regis with slight Achilles trouble and Yvonne Murray, who lost valuable winter training with a back problem.
Squad, Sporting Digest, page 31
Latest in Sport
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Payable Assistant - SW Londo...
£14560 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Even though their premises have...
£44000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Marketing company based in cent...