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Jackson hangs up spikes

Birmingham: The script was written and the champagne was on ice... but Colin Jackson could not galvanise his ageing legs into one final moment of glory at his retirement party.

The 36-year-old bade an emotional farewell to an illustrious 18-year track career by taking fifth place in the 60m hurdles at the world indoor championships on Sunday, his last ever race before hanging up his spikes for good.

There was no 26th major championship medal to celebrate, but that did not stop the Welshman from a rousing lap of honour at the National Indoor Arena. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m still on a high. To be finished, to be free of all the pressures of performing is a nice feeling,” Jackson told reporters after trailing home his great rival Allen Johnson.

“I would have loved to have won a medal. I was more than capable of doing it but I was between two giants (China’s Xiang Liu and Cuba’s Anier Garcia) and I got beat up in the middle section of the race.

He still holds the world records for both the 110m hurdles and 60m hurdles, the former set in Stuttgart in 1993, the latter indoors one year later. Added to that are two world championships golds, four European outdoor titles and an Olympic silver medal.

Jackson, the most capped British male athlete in history, awarded the MBE in 1990, insists he has no regrets at retiring. “I’ve really enjoyed my career, especially the last few years,” he said. “I’m going out with my love for the sport still intact. I’m the fastest person in history and that is a wonderful feeling to have.”

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