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Last Updated:  Sunday, 16 March, 2003, 16:59 GMT
Jackson bows out
Colin Jackson celebrates his world record time to win the 1993 World Championships
Jackson's sprint hurdles world record still stands
Colin Jackson may have finished out of the medals in Birmingham - but the rapturous ovation of the crowd revealed the esteem in which the Welshman is held.

Allen Johnson put paid to Jackson's hopes of signing off with another gold to add to his massive medal collection.

Yet his beaming smile, despite a fifth-placed finish, suggested there was no disappointment.

And few athletes could complain if their careers ultimately compare to Jackson's.

The Welshman has been Great Britain's finest ever sprint hurdler - and one of its best-ever athletes - enjoying a career of remarkable success and longevity.

He won his first major medal in 1986, picking up a silver in the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games - and over the next 17 years Jackson made the podium at every major athletics championship.

Feb 1967
Best times:
60m hurdles 7.30s (WR)
110m hurdles 12.91s (WR)
Major ch'ship medals:
Total: 23 (13 gold, 9 silver, 1 bronze)

World Championship bronze in 1987 and Olympic silver in 1988 proved he was a world-class athlete.

Commonwealth and European titles followed in 1990 and the Welshman was strongly tipped for the 1992 Olympic 110m hurdle crown.

In the event, Jackson only managed seventh place and Olympic gold eluded him throughout his career, with fourth and fifth placings in 1996 and 2000 respectively.

The lack of an Olympic title is the only blot on an otherwise impeccable copybook, the highlight of which is probably his 1993 World Championship gold, set in a world record time of 12.91 seconds which still stands today.

The fact Colin never won Olympic gold does not detract one bit from his achievements
Michael Johnson

Jackson also won four consecutive golds at the European Championships from 1990 to 2002 - a reign which is unlikely to be bettered.

His indoor record is similarly impressive, and his world record of 7.30 is another mark which remains to this day - and one which BBC pundit Steve Cram thinks will remain for years.

As well as enthralling fans with his endeavours, Jackson commands respect among the world's finest athletes.

Michael Johnson has said he considers Jackson to be one of athletics' all-time greats - not just as a hurdler but in any event.

"The fact that he has not won Olympic gold does not detract one bit from his achievements," he said.

British sprinter Darren Campbell said Jackson's professionalism was second to none.

"I've been fortunate enough to know Colin since 1993 - I've watched him and Linford Christie train," he said.

Colin is one of the best guys I know, one of the best competitors I know and one of the best humans I know
Donovan Bailey

"You learn how to focus and how to be dedicated and Colin is a shining example of that.

"He is a perfectionist - you have to be to hurdle - and that's how I want to be in sprinting."

Campbell agreed that Jackson would be remembered as one of the best athletes Britain has ever produced.

"He's got two great world records and it will take a great man to beat that. When the history record books are written, Colin's name will be permanently up there."

Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey, a former 100m world record holder, said despite his achievements, Jackson was never arrogant.

"You can see the love he gets from people on and off the track," he said.

"If anyone is going to be missed from this sport it's going to be Colin.

"He went out and achieved all these things while maintaining a massive amount of friends - not a lot of people have the ability to do that.

"He's probably one of the best guys I know, one of the best competitors I know and one of the best humans I know."

Britain's Colin Jackson
"I always wanted to end on my terms and I've done that"

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