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UK Athletics

Colin Jackson's world record finally goes

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After 12 years 10 months and 21 days, Colin Jackson finally lost his grip on the world 110m hurdles record at the IAAF Super Grand Prix in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday 11 July.


The Welshman’s time of 12.91 seconds, achieved in victory at the 1993 IAAF World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, was finally shattered by Liu Ziang (China).


Liu had shared the WR since clocking 12.91 to win the 2004 Olympic title in Athens. But he could hardly have expected to get close to it when he arrived in Switzerland with a modest season’s best of 13.19 seconds, achieved when he finished fourth at the IAAF Golden League in Paris last Saturday night.


What happened next was a reminder of athletics’ ceaseless tendency to produce the wow factor – usually when it is least expected…


Despite having a sluggish start and clipping the final hurdle, Liu stopped the electronic clock at 12.90 as he dipped low over the line to snatch victory millimetres ahead of Dominique Arnold (USA), who had looked set for victory over the last barrier.

Minutes later, his ecstasy was increased threefold when officials studied the photo-finish picture and awarded him a time of 12.88 seconds! To underline the scintillating quality of the race, Arnold in second place clocked an American record of 12.90 seconds – relegating Jackson to third on the world all-time list.


The official result of the momentous race (wind speed: +1.1 metres per second): 1 Liu Xiang (China) 12.88 (WR); 2 Dominique Arnold (USA) 12.90 (National record); 3 Terrence Trammell (USA) 13.02 (equal PB); 4 Dayron Robles (Cuba) 13.04 (PB); 5 Aries Merritt (USA) 13.12 (PB); 6 Stanislavs Olijars (Latvia) 13.19; 7 Ladji Dacourt (France) 13.46; 8 Ryan Wilson (USA) 14.02.


Of the four UK athletes who took the opportunity of top class competition only four days before the Norwich Union European Trials, incorporating the UK Championships and AAA of England Championships, at Manchester’s Sportcity on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July…


Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers) and Hayley Tullett (Swansea Harriers) again finished outside the UK Athletics 1500m Elite Standard of 4:05.00 for the European Championships in Gothenburg.


Clitheroe finished eighth in 4:07.67 and Tullett ninth in 4:08.33 in a race won impressively by the world indoor record holder Yelena Soboleva (Russia) in 3:58.60.


So going into the Trials, the 1500m specialists trail 5000m star Jo Pavey (4:05.91) in the UK rankings for this summer. Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford) is next with her surprise victory in 4:06.21 at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March; Tullett’s best is 4:06.34 in Athens on 3 July; Clitheroe has yet to beat her 4:06.81 in the Commonwealth final; and 800m No.1 Becky Lyne (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield) clocked 4:06.85 in Lucerne, Switzerland, on 6 July. So the stage is set for a Sportcity thriller.


In the Lausanne triple jump, Commonwealth Champion Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) finished seventh with 17.06m (wind: +0.7) and Nathan Douglas (Oxford City) ninth with 16.84m (+1.2) in a competition won with 17.62m (wind: +0.8) by Olympic Champion Christian Olsson (Sweden). Both have already gone well beyond the UKA Elite Standard of 17.00m already this season: Idowu 17.45m for his Commonwealth Gold medal; Douglas 17.42m in Geneva, Switzerland, on 11 June.