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Christie-Bailey Showdown Dashed

August 20, 1996

GATESHEAD, England (AP) _ Just like the defense of his Olympic 100-meter title, Linford Christie’s last scheduled appearance for Britain ended prematurely with a knee injury Monday.

Christie finished second to compatriot John Regis in the 200 meters at the BUPA Challenge track meet, twisting his knee in the process. That prevented Christie from competing against Olympic champion Donovan Bailey at 100 meters.

Bailey warmed up in a Newcastle United soccer shirt with ``9.84″ _ his Olympic and world record time _ splashed on the back. The Canadian won the 100 comfortably in 10.19 seconds, with Britain’s Ian Mackie second in 10.25.

The meet was billed as Christie’s finale for Britain, his 63rd appearance for his country. However, Christie, whose schedule and plans can change from week to week, told British coach Malcolm Arnold before the meet he will run in next year’s European Cup in Munich, Germany.

Christie, 36, said he will run as a favor to his doctor there. Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt is a knee specialist who has treated Christie the last four years.

``But that will be it,″ Christie said. ``There will be no other international meetings.″

During the Olympics, in which he was disqualified for two false starts in the 100, Christie insisted the Gateshead meet would indeed be his last.

The second big matchup of the night _ between Britain’s world triple jump record holder Jonathan Edwards and Olympic champion Kenny Harrison of the United States _ also failed to fulfill its potential. Harrison struggled with a foot injury.

Edwards, whose only defeat in his last 27 competitions was when Harrison denied him gold in Atlanta, won with a jump of 57-foot-0 1/4. Francis Agyepong was second at 54-6, Harrison third at 54-5 1/2.

``It was very nice to win in front of my home crowd,″ Edwards said. ``It’s a pity Kenny had a foot injury, otherwise we could have really seen some fireworks here tonight.″

In the 110-meter hurdles, Olympic champion Allen Johnson of the United States won in 13.26. British rivals Tony Jarrett (13.33) and Colin Jackson (13.44), the world record holder, were next.

Olympic high jump champion Charles Austin of the United States won his event with a jump of 7-6 1/2.

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