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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK

Johnson joins BBC for Games

Athletics superstar Michael Johnson rejoins the BBC Sport team for their extensive coverage of this year's Commonwealth Games.

Johnson, who remains the only man to have won both the 200m and 400m at the World Championships and Olympics, will be on hand to offer his expert views as the 17th Games get under way in Manchester on 25 July.

It marks a welcome return for the American, dubbed "Superman", following his widely-acclaimed contribution to BBC's coverage of the World Championships last year.

"To be part of the Commonwealth Games with the world-renowned BBC Sport team is incredible," said Johnson, who is still the fastest man in the world over 400m.

"It's the biggest multi-sport event to be held in the UK and an estimated 1bn will watch the Games via the BBC across the world"
Peter Salmon
BBC director of sport

"I know the thrill of major competition only too well and I'll be looking to bring my personal insight to bear on the performance of the athletes competing at these Games, and the Europeans."

Johnson joins a top team of pundits as the BBC prepares to capture all the drama and excitement of the Games on television, radio and online.

"This is going to be a Games experienced through one broadcaster. It's all about innovation and excitement," said BBC director of sport Peter Salmon.

"It's the biggest multi-sport event to be held in the UK and an estimated 1bn will watch the Games via the BBC across the world."

Steve Rider, Sue Barker, John Inverdale and Hazel Irvine host the live action on Commonwealth Games Grandstand on BBC1 and BBC2, which are producing 180 hours of TV coverage as well as an interactive service available to digital TV viewers.

There will also be daily coverage and live commentary on BBC Radio Five Live (909&693AM) in addition to dedicated programming on BBC2002 97.7FM in Greater Manchester.

On the internet, BBC Sport will provide a website that befits the status of the Commonwealth Games with the launch of a dedicated website at www.bbc.co.uk/commonwealth to bring you everything you need to know about Manchester 2002.

As well as detailed guides for all of the events, venues and competitors to watch, there will also be a run down on all of the 72 countries taking part in the Games and a new desktop game - Denise Lewis Heptathlon.

With 5,250 athletes and officials making the journey to Manchester, this promises to be the biggest Commonwealth Games ever and will receive the coverage it deserves.

It has certainly come a long way since Steve Rider's first Games 16 years ago.

"I was at the Edinburgh Games in 1986 and I was overwhelmed then," said Rider.

"But technology has moved on and this year's coverage will be all-encompassing."


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