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  Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Sand and deliver!

Have you heard the one about the long jumper who was allergic to sand?

Step forward Jade Johnson, who picked up a Commonwealth Games silver medal for England this week.

The 22-year-old Londoner comes out in a rash as soon as her body comes in to contact with the yellow stuff.

But Johnson - the second most famous Jade in the country - refuses to let that halt her quest for glory.

Her coach, former 200m star John Regis, admitted he would not have had the same determination.

"I would have taken up another sport," he said.

"She's fast enough to be a sprinter. Instead it can be quite uncomfortable for her. Her body breaks out in blotches and rashes."

If only other leading sports stars had an allergy or phobia that could affect their performances....


Austin Masetro
Not so fast, Michael

Michael Schumacher - racing cars:
The five-times champion would have to take on his rivals in an old Austin Maestro estate, making the championship much more exciting.

At least it might go down to the final two races before the inimitable German wrapped things up.


Lance Armstrong - mountain goats:
The Tour de France legend would have to take a detour every time he clapped eyes on one of the little blighters.

Of course, he'd still win the thing, but all that leisurely Champagne drinking before crossing the line would be a thing of the past.


Sir Alex Ferguson
Ow, I don't like it. It hurts

Sir Alex Ferguson - silver:
The Manchester United supremo would never be able to get his hands on a trophy again, which would be music to the ears of millions worldwide.

In fact, come to think of it, the allergy had already begun to show signs of flaring up last season.


Lleyton Hewitt - grass:
Just think - Tim Henman could at last achieve his lifetime ambition of winning Wimbledon.

One problem - Hewitt is allergic to grass - and he still wins. Wouldn't you just know it?


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29 Jul 02 | Athletics
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