NEWPORT sprinter Chris-tian Malcolm has promis-ed that this weekend's Great Britain trials at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium will be an exhibition of athletics excellence as never seen before... as long as he makes it, that is.

As exclusively revealed in yesterday's South Wales Argus, Malcolm is suffering with flu and will leave any decision to race until tonight.

But if he does make it Malcolm feels that this weekend will be the best spectacle of British sprinting seen for years

The men's 100, 200 and 400 metre events are set to be the tightest yet with only two British athletes being selected from each discipline for next month's World Championships in Paris.

Malcolm will be looking to make both the 100 and 200m team for Paris but faces stiff opposition in both.

"The world of sprinting will be looking very closely at this weekend's races," admitted Malcolm.

"It's going to be an exhibition of sprinting excellence as never seen before.

"It's a massive weekend.

"Everyone is back, fit and healthy and for the first time in ages it's going to be winner takes all.

"If I get over my 'flu then there really are no excuses this time, it's a good chance for me to show what I can do and I'll be gutted if I don't make it.

"I obviously won't be to bothered if I don't make the 100m team because the 200m team is my speciality.

"But not to make that is unthinkable. I'll also be distraught if I go to Paris and only compete in the relay. No-one wants to play second fiddle and I'm no different."

While everyone is tipping fellow Welsh team member Darren Campbell and Dwain Chambers as Malcolm's main threat, the Newport athlete himself has tipped a surprise outsider as the man to watch.

"I think Chris Lambert could spring a surprise and I certainly won't be taking him for granted," said Malcolm.

"He's run the fastest time this year so from that point of view he will know that he has it in him to run that well.

"Julian Golding also seems to pull a good run out of the bag when it comes to trials so he'll be a danger as well.

"Basically there are a lot of good runners and anything less then a perfect performance will result in defeat."

In the 400m, Risca's Jamie Baulch is an underdog and he knows that he's racing for the second place in the 400m team.

"Daniel Caines is the man at the moment," said Baulch.

"He's already got the qualifying time so he's virtually made it. So it's going to be a mad scramble for that second place.

"I know I'm capable of doing it, but Iwan's coming back to form and I feel that second place is really between myself and him."

Meanwhile, in the women's 400m, Cardiff's Katharine Merry has been forced to withdraw with tonsillitis.

But Merry, who recently returned after a two-year absence with an Achilles injury, will still have six international meetings in which to achieve the qualifying mark of 51.34 seconds for the championships in Paris next month before the cut-off date of August 11.

"I'm very disappointed to miss the trials as I've only recently returned to action," she said.

The Birchfield Harriers star marked her track return by running a good leg in the Great Britain women's 4x400m relay team which claimed silver at the European Cup in Florence last month.