London 2012 to boost Glasgow 25 | 07 | 2012

    THE GLASGOW COMMONWEALTH GAMES will reap the rewards of the success of London 2012, according to Olympic medallist Colin Jackson.

    Twenty-four hours after 'Flying Scot' Sir Chris Hoy was confirmed as the British flag-bearer for the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday, Jackson believes the Games will be a springboard to success for Glasgow in 2014.

    "Will Glasgow get a boost from London 2012? Totally: 100%," Jackson, an ambassador for the Jaguar Academy of Sport which is helping produce the next generation of sports stars, said today.

    "There's no doubt about it. The Commonwealth Games are known as the 'Friendly Games' for a good reason.

    "As an athlete, the friends you make at the Olympics will so look forward to seeing you again in Scotland.

    "Everybody knows Scotland, what it's all about. The hospitality is brilliant: it's a win-win situation for Glasgow.

    "The Olympic Games are definitely a forerunner for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and it sets it up beautifully.

    "I think that's the luxury of having them virtually so close afterwards. People will still be buzzing from London."

    Jackson — who won the 110m hurdles gold medal in two Commonwealth Games for Wales, in addition to his Olympic Silver in Seoul in 1988 and three World Championships — still holds the 60m hurdles world record.

    See more official photos of Colin Jackson's exclusive interview

    His record of 7.30secs, which he set in Sindelfingen, Germany, in 1994, remains unbeaten. Jackson's 110m world record of 12.91s stood for almost 13 years before being broken in 2006.

    And the Welshman is adamant the whole of the UK should get behind London 2012.

    "I know there's been talk of Olympic apathy across the rest of the country because people outwith London feel it's not their Games," Jackson, now a TV pundit as part of the BBC's coverage of the Games, continued.

    "As an athlete, and a Welsh athlete, I would feel pretty annoyed if people in Wales didn't support me getting ready to run in the Olympic Games.

    "I would hope they would feel they were very much a part of the Olympics, because I would be representing them. It just so happens that the Games are in London.

    "The whole of the United Kingdom will get touched by the Olympics in London because everybody is being represented somewhere along the line.

    "I know from having spoken with a number of the Scottish athletes taking part in the Games, they feel exactly the same way.

    "They're not only representing Great Britain, but they're also flying the flag for Scotland, and they want to know they have the full support of Scotland behind them."

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    Jackson, who was acknowledged during his racing career as someone who could handle intense pressure, admits for some British athletes London 2012 will be too big.

    "It's a massive pressure, and for some people it will definitely be too big to handle," he explained. "They've had seven years … to worry.

    "For me now, working on the Games, at least I know every night I can sleep. That's something the top athletes won't manage. I'll have no stresses or worries: but they will.

    "They'll be wondering: 'Am I ready?'

    "That's the big question for all the athletes.

    "As an athlete, you will have known since 2007 what time you're final will be. So you know, to the second, when you need to be ready.

    "And when your target is so many years out, it can cause havoc in the brain.

    "As an athlete, you only have one chance in life at this. That's it. You know, at that second, you have to be in the best shape of your life: of your life. Just think about it.

    "The story of the Olympic Games — and there will be many — will be of great successes and massive failures.

    "It's daunting. But when it boils down to it, it's their job. The question is: can they handle it?"

    New speed record for Colin Jackson

    Jaguar Academy of Sport Ambassador Colin Jackson has hit a new personal record of 171mph in the new 510PS Jaguar XJ Speed Pack at the Jaguar Proving Ground in Warwickshire.

    In 1994, Jackson set an as yet unbeaten time of 7.3-seconds over the 60-metre hurdles.

    Travelling at 171mph in the XJ Supersport Speed, he covered an incredible 558.04-metres in this time: to cover 60-metres, the XJ took less than a second.

    "That's a new record for me," Jackson smiled. "The car was incredibly stable and quiet, it really felt totally at ease with travelling at such enormous speeds. We pulled more the 1G in deceleration – it was quite a ride!"

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    Jim McGill

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