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Colin Jackson

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Colin Jackson
Born February 18, 1967 in Cardiff, Colin was a sprint and hurdling athlete and now works as a sports commentator and television presenter predominantly for the BBC.

Jackson attended Llanedeyrn High School playing football and cricket for the county and rugby and basketball for his school.

Under coach and close friend Malcolm Arnold he started out as a promising decathlete before switching to high hurdles. He set a new World Record on 110 metres hurdles the 20 August 1993 in Stuttgart, Germany with 12.91s. The record was equaled by Liu Xiang in the 2004 Summer Olympics, and finally beaten by the same man 11 July 2006 at the Super Grand Prix in Lausanne with a time of 12.88s. However he remains sole holder of the indoor world record at the 60 metre hurdles with a time of 7.30 seconds set in Sindelfingen, Germany on March 6, 1994.

Jackson was a master of the "dip" - the skill of leaning forward at the end of a race to advance the position of the shoulders and improve times (and potentially positions). It has been estimated that some 50% of his races were won by using the dip.

Already the holder of the MBE that he received in 1990 for his services to athletics, in 1992 he was appointed CBE.

The English reggae band Aswad name-checked him on their hit song Shine: Him a floating like a butterfly, the hurdling man - Yes, me-a-chat about Colin Jackson.

Since ending his professional career Jackson has been a coach, but in areas other than athletics. He has coached the swimmer Mark Foster until Foster's retirement in April 2006. He was also one of the members of the successful London 2012 Olympic bid team.

In 2005 he appeared as one of the celebrity contestants on the BBC TV series Strictly Come Dancing, where he displayed a natural lightness on his feet, and reached second place with his dance partner Erin Boag, after a neck-and-neck race in the final.

Colin Jackson took part in an episode of the BBC TV genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, broadcast in the UK on 20th September 2006. Of Jamaican descent, genetic tests showed his ancestry to be 55% African, 7% Native American (believed to be from Jamaican Maroon Ancestry on his father's side), and 38% European. His maternal grandmother was born, and died, in the West Indian community of Panama.

Jacksons elder sister, Suzanne Packer is a television star in Britain, notable for playing 'Tess Bateman' in the BBC Television series Casualty.


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