Colin Jackson hurdled his way into track history. Gail Devers scaled the biggest hurdle of her career and did the same.

Jackson, often accused of not winning the big races, made the biggest impact of his career by skimming over the 110-meter hurdles in 12.91 seconds Friday night at the World Championships, breaking Roger Kingdom's world mark of 12.92.It was the second world record for a Briton in two nights as Sally Gunnell shattered the world mark in the women's 400 hurdles, clocking 52.74.

Devers, who missed a sprint-hurdles double at last year's Olympics when she stumbled over the final barrier while leading the 100 hurdles, had no mishaps this time and won in 12.46, breaking her American record of 12.48.

The remarkable Devers, who only three years ago was hobbled by Graves' Disease, a life-threatening thyroid condition, won the 100 Monday night in 10.82, matching the championship record.

Only one other woman won a sprint-hurdles combination in a major championship - Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands won the 100 and 80 hurdles at the 1948 Olympics.

The memorable performances by Jackson and Devers came on a night when Dan O'Brien won his second straight world decathlon title with the fifth-highest score in history; Mike Powell won his second consecutive world long jump title at 28 feet, 21/4 inches; and former BYU sprinter Frank Fredericks of Namibia won the 200 in 19.85 as Carl Lewis finished third.

Jackson, the seventh-place finisher at the 1992 Olympics after having run the fastest first-round heat in history, made amends for that disaster by running a near-perfect race Friday.

"I got to the first hurdle first and in control," he said. "And I just decided to run from there."

In winning, he led a 1-2 British finish with Tony Jarrett second in a career-best 13.00.

"That was better than my run," said Linford Christie, the 100 champion who missed a world record by one-hundredth of a second. "It put me to tears. We're putting the `great' back into Britain."

Christie also took a swipe at American Tony Dees, who finished last in 14.13 after smashing two hurdles and virtually giving up. Dees, the Olympic silver medalist, had intimated that Jackson was "a choker" because of his past failures in big meets.

"Who's the choker now?" Christie said.

"This is unbelievable," team manager Frank Dick said, referring to the consecutive world records. "These are events in which you wouldn't expect us to even score, historically."

Jackson's victory was the first by a Brit in the 110 hurdles in an Olympics or a world championship.

"I was very disappointed at the Olympics, so I'm very glad to get the title and the world record," Jackson said, after hugging his coach, Malcolm Arnold, amidst tears of joy. "I've had a bit of misfortune in other meets, but I came here fit. I wouldn't call it a perfect race, but it was a great race."

It wasn't quite perfect, because Jackson clipped hurdles 1, 5 and 10.

"It's easy to lose your concentration and perhaps that cost me hundredths," he said.

Devers' race was not perfect, either.

"I messed up in the middle," she said. "I hit one hurdle. I wanted to avoid what happened in Barcelona, and this time I did recover."

At Barcelona, Devers wound up scrambling to the finish line and placing fifth. Had she not stumbled off the final hurdle, she probably would have won.

"The gold means a lot to me, especially after what happened last year," she said.

O'Brien, the world record-holder with 8,891 points, finished with 8,817 to surpass his 1991 world championship total by five.

Throughout the 10-event, two-day competition he was hampered by a severe groin injury.

But he was consistent and able to withstand the challenge of Eduard Hamalainen of Belarus, runner-up with 8,724.

Ironically, the event that caused O'Brien to miss the Olympic team last year, the pole vault, was the crucial event this time.

O'Brien didn't clear a height at the U.S. trials, but he equalled his decathlon best, 17-03/4, giving him a virtually unbeatable cushion.

Powell, who set the world record of 29-41/2 at the 1991 World Championships, didn't come close to matching that this time, but he didn't have to without a serious challenge.

After fouling on his first attempt, Powell produced the five longest jumps in the competition, capped by his winning effort on his final attempt.

"I didn't exactly set things on fire like in 1991," Powell said.

Fredericks, the 1992 Olympic silver medalist in the 100 and 200, won the longer race Friday night by overtaking Britain's John Regis with about 70 meters remaining.

The favorites were Lewis, the 1984 Olympic champion, and Mike Marsh, last year's gold medalist. But Fredericks, the first Black African sprinter to win a gold medal in a major championship, was too fast as Regis finished second in 19.94, Lewis third in 19.99 and Marsh fourth in 20.18.

"I've been able to get up for all the big meets," said Lewis, who had won 16 gold medals and two silvers in 18 events in Olympic or World Championship competition before this meet.

Friday also produced the first two drug cases at the championships.

Dimitry Polyunin of Uzbekistan, the men's javelin bronze medalist, and Lilia Nurutdinova of Russia, the seventh-place finisher in the women's 800, were each suspended for four years after testing positive for stanozolol.