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Malcolm stars in relay gold run; GOODWILL GAMES: Britons beat Americans in 4x100.

Byline: DAVID MARTIN

BRITAIN beat world record holders America to claim a remarkable gold in the men's 4x100 metres at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane.

John Barbour got off to a blistering start, handing over the baton to British 200m champion Marlon Devonish.

Devonish looked under threat by both America and Australia, but made no mistakes on the change-over to Welshman Christian Malcolm, who sped round the back bend.

The former world junior champion ran a superb leg, giving Goodwill Games 100m champion Dwain Chambers a slight lead going into the home straight.

Chambers, with American J J Johnson on his shoulder, kept his composure to claim a sweet victory for Britain in 38.71.

America had to settle for silver in 38.81, ahead of Jamaica, who finished third in 38.92.

"We just wanted to make sure we got the baton round, " said Malcolm.

"We are obviously all disappointed with our performance at recent championships and we wanted to finish the season on a high."

Malcolm admitted the team had adopted some caution after dropping the baton at the Olympic Games in Sydney last year and running out of the box on the final exchange at the World Championships in Edmonton.

"I wouldn't say we were ultra-cautious, we just wanted to make sure we didn't make any mistakes, " the Welshman added.

"The technique wasn't that great but we played it safe and we'll work on improving our take-overs."

Malcolm, disappointed after finishing fifth in the 200m earlier in the week, said watching his team-mate Chambers win the 100m on Wednesday had been a big confidence booster for the team.

"It was encouraging to know we had the fastest man here running the final leg.

"We are a world-class team and one of the best in the world. We wanted to prove that."

American sprint king Michael Johnson bowed out of top-flight athletics and promised to be there in person to watch his records be broken.

Johnson - holder of 200 and 400 metres world records and with a gold medal haul of 14 from world championships and Olympics - anchored the USA team to gold in the 4x400m.

But Johnson plans to continue attending athletics events and will watch from the stands when his records are bettered.

"I have no control over those, but it won't pain me when they are broken, " said Johnson.

"I just hope I am still alive to witness them being broken. I'm even more of a fan now I have retired and I will be at the major championships and Games.

"If a record is broken, hopefully, I will be there to witness it."

CAPTION(S):

DELIGHTED: Welshman Christian Malcolm
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 8, 2001
Words:445
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