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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 December, 2003, 13:42 GMT
Johnson set for Olympic re-run
Ben Johnson
Johnson wants to race Carl Lewis
Disgraced athlete Ben Johnson hopes to race in a multi-million pound re-run of the Olympic Games 100m final of 1988.

The Canadian, who finished first in Seoul before being disqualified for failing a drugs test, called on the seven other finalists to compete.

But Linford Christie has turned down the offer and eventual gold medal winner Carl Lewis has yet to sign up.

"It was the best 100m ever and the fans got a thrill. I think they would like to see it one more time," said Johnson.

The race was won by Johnson in a time of 9.79, just one hundredth of a second outside the current world record set by Tim Montgomery in 2002.

1 Carl Lewis - 9.92 seconds
2 Linford Christie - 9.97
3 Calvin Smith - 9.99
4 Dennis Mitchell - 10.04
5 Robson da Silva - 10.11
6 Desai Williams - 10.11
7 Ray Stewart - 12.26
DSQ Ben Johnson (9.79)
And the 41-year-old told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme that he was still in "good shape" for the re-run, which is to be staged shortly before the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

"I'm training five times a week, doing weights and trying to learn how to run properly again," he said.

"It's pretty hard, but I've always stayed in shape and I want to get this race on the road.

"It will give people the thrill of a lifetime."

Morris Chrobotek, who is helping to promote the race, is certain it will go ahead.

"There was never closure," he said.

"Ben had to give away his gold medal and so it's time to set the record straight for everybody.

Linford Christie or no Linford Christie the race is going to be run
Morris Chrobotek
Assistant race promoter

"This will be a different race, a clean race and it will show that everybody can turn over a new leaf."

The winner of the 2004 re-run stands to win $2m (1.3m), with the runner-up scooping 650,000 and third place earning 500,000.

And Chrobotek understands the athletes are already in serious training.

"These guys are going to run a serious, serious race. Love it or hate it, billions will be watching," he said.

"Linford Christie or no Linford Christie the race is going to be run."

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