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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 February 2006, 11:10 GMT
Sotherton lacks respect - Johnson
By Ian Wilkerson

Kelly Sotherton (left) has not answered Jade Johnson's outburst
Long jump star Jade Johnson says Kelly Sotherton "lacks respect" for her rivals following a furious row between the pair at the AAA Championships.

Johnson said she was fed up with Sotherton's "little digs" in the press and approached her for a private chat.

But Johnson told BBC Sport: "She decided we'd have it in front of the media. I'm fed up with her talking about me. She should shut her mouth."

In response, Sotherton said she just wanted to concentrate on her training.

I wanted it to be a discussion between two adults but I ended up talking to a child
Jade Johnson

Johnson was competing for the first time in 10 months in Sheffield at the weekend after suffering a prolapsed disc, and was beaten into second place by Sotherton in the long jump.

But she accused Sotherton, who won a bronze medal in the heptathlon in the 2004 Olympics, of "shouting and raving" when confronted after their medal presentation about what Johnson perceives to be a lack of respect.

The pair eventually had to be separated by security staff.

Johnson, who won silver at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in 2002, said: "It has been going on since 2004 and I decided to have a private chat with her.

"I wanted it to be a discussion between two adults but I ended up talking to a child.

"She is trying to give the perception that she is the sweet and innocent one and I'm deranged and I don't think she should be able to get away with it.

"It's not just me she talks about, it's other people. She doesn't seem to have any respect.

"It's not like we work in an office. It is going on TV and in the papers and I am sick of people asking me if I have seen what she has said.

"People let her disrespect whoever she wants but my mum brought me up to not let anyone disrespect me."

Sotherton said: "I don't really want to make a comment. All I want to do is concentrate on my training for the Commonwealth Games."

The pair are set to meet again at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday.

Watch Saturday's Norwich Union Grand Prix on Grandstand on BBC Two at 1350 GMT and on BBC One at 1430 GMT




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