East German long jumper Heike Drechsler and hurdler Sabine Busch turned in the world's best performances this year at the start of the annual meet pitting East Germany against the Soviet Union in East Germany.

Drechsler's best jump of 24-1 topped by 3 1/2 inches the previous season best of Yelena Belyovskaya of the Soviet Union and fell only 4 1/4 inches short of Dreschler's world record. Busch won the women's 400-meter hurdles in 53.80 seconds . . .

Britain's Linford Christie, European 100-meter champion, ran to victory in 10.16 seconds in an international competition in Portsmouth, England.

Former 800-meter Olympic champion Steve Ovett finished fifth in the mile race he was expected to win. Steve Cram, also of England, won in 3:58.27.

Of the women, world record-holder Fatima Whitbread of England won the javelin with a heave of 240 feet 7 inches, the fourth-best of her career . . .

James Bradley, 51, of Springfield, Va., placed in three events in the 50-54 age group at the Tennessee Masters championships in Knoxville. Bradley won the 400-meter hurdles in 65.8 and placed second in 400 meters (58.1) and 110 high hurdles (20.1).