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CHRISTIE RACES TO 9.91 IN 100 METERS

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Linford Christie's quick visit to the Commonwealth Games was just about everything the event's promoters hoped it would be.

The biggest name in the games, the man whose picture was featured in much of the advance publicity, spent about 40 seconds running in four races over two days.And, as all good showmen do, he saved his best for last.

The ageless Englishman, a powerful muscular machine as he bolts down the track, won his second Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 100 meters Tuesday in 9.91 seconds, matching the sixth-fastest time in history.

When it was over, he bowed and blew kisses to the crowd, then draped himself in the English flag for his victory lap. He even signed an English flag for a fan as he walked out.

At 34, when many sprinters would be past their prime, he is at the top of his sport, a world champion and Olympic gold medalist. Still, he keeps running, and winning.

"Age is in the mind," he said. "Every day they keep telling me I'm old but I'm still going out here and mixing it with the young ones and beating them all the time."

Christie's time was his fastest of the season. Only world record holder Leroy Burrell, Carl Lewis and Christie himself have run the 100 faster than the intense Englishman did Tuesday.

When it will all end, he said, he doesn't know.

"I'm just really enjoying myself," he said. "I'm enjoying athletics so much. We just take it one race, one year at a time. One day I'll just get up and say, `That's it.' "

Christie overshadowed a remarkable performance by unheralded Horace Dove-Edwin of Sierra Leone. When his impoverished homeland's government was unable to pay his way to Victoria, the Commonwealth Games Association stepped in and provided the air fare. A shoe company came through to provide him with a good pair of running shoes.

And he stunned a world-class field by winning the silver medal in 10.02 seconds. Dove-Edwin, a student at LaGrange College in Atlanta, hopes to compete in that city's Olympics in 1996. Namibia's Frank Fredericks, former BYU sprinter, finished fourth in 10.06.

While Christie dominated the track, two issues familiar to international competitions surfaced Tuesday - drug testing and boxing scoring.

English shot putter Paul Edwards, in a Victoria hospital for treatment of an obstructed bowel, said he had been told that there was "a problem" with his drug test in the recent European Championships.

England team manager Alan Lindop would say only that an English male athlete had failed a drug test at Helsinki.

Edwards said, though, that he has "had no notification of a failed drug test, but I have been told by Mr. Lindop that there was a problem with my test in Helsinki."

Commonwealth Games officials said they would take no action against Edwards unless the international federation did so. The shot put event is scheduled for Saturday but it's not known whether Edwards will be healthy enough to compete.

Meanwhile, a Nigerian boxing official said that African countries considered pulling out of the games after a controversial decision involving a Tanzanian fighter.

Frank Okanta, head of the Nigerian Amateur Boxing Association, said Tanzanian Mwbana Matumla lost his fight to Paul Shepherd of Scotland because he was black. The 11-8 decision brought a chorus of catcalls from the crowd.

"We are extremely dissatisfied with the results of the fights. I think they are extremely biased," he told Canadian Press after Tanzania's protest was denied. "It's all slanting toward European countries.

"I think there's a time we'll all boycott the Games and form our own African Commonwealth Games and fight amongst ourselves."

Scotland's Frank Hendry of the International Amateur Boxing Association, chairman of the jury that reviewed the fight, said there is no racism involved in any of the decisions.

Back on the track, world champion Colin Jackson, running for Wales, repeated as 110 hurdles champion and matched the games record of 13.08 he set four years ago at Auckland, New Zealand.

Angela Chalmers, the flag bearer in the opening ceremonies for host Canada, repeated as women's 3,000 champion before her hometown crowd and broke her games record by more than six seconds, winning in 8:32.17.

Other gold medalists at the sun-drenched Centennial Stadium were Nigerian Mary Onyali in the women's 100, Australian Catherine Freeman in the women's 400, Daniela Costian of Australia in the women's discus, England's Denise Lewis in the heptathlon and Kenyans Charles Gitonga at 400 meters and Johnstone Kipkoech in the 3,000.

Australia, the dominant force in swimming throughout the games, had a slower-than-usual night with three golds in six events.

England won two golds when Martin Harris upset Australia's Steven Dewick in the men's 100 backstroke and Mark Foster edged Aussie Darren Lange by one-hundredth of a second in the 50-meter freestyle.

Danyon Loader, who had won three silver medals in the earlier competition, gave New Zealand its first swimming gold by touching the wall 16-hundredths of a second ahead of Australia's Scott Miller in the men's 200 butterfly.

Australia's Elli Overton, the winner Friday in the 400-meter individual medley, won the 200 IM for her second gold in a games record 2:15.59.

Australia went 1-2 in the women's 800 freestyle with Stacey Gartrell taking the gold.