A collision and a near fight between two runners added drama to the 1,500-meter final at the British Championships in Birmingham.

The 11,000 spectators and TV watchers were disappointed at record holder Steve Cram's withdrawal because of illness. Then Steve Halliday and Tony Morrell come close to blows after they and Mark Rowland collided on the last lap.

Halliday and Morrell ran from the track, and Halliday moved menacingly toward Morrell on the infield. He appeared to tap his rival's head before storming to the locker room.

"He barged me out of the way," Halliday said. "There was no reason for it. It was his fault and I am going to see him afterwards."

Rowland was blamed for the collision and disqualified. . . .

Members of a Texas track team in Clearwater, Fla., for a national competition were forced from their car at gunpoint by police who mistook them for armed suspects wanted in a series of beatings.

"I don't think it was racial," said Howard Ware, coach of the Austin Striders Track Club. "I think they made a big mistake."

Police stopped the car, held the teenage occupants at gunpoint and forced them to spread-eagle on the ground.

Police Chief Sid Klein said it was a case of mistaken identity. He said an alert had been broadcast for an identical car, a rental dark Dodge with a paper license tag with red lettering in the left rear window, driven by a young black man. . . .

Ben Johnson plans to return to competitive running in January. He outlined his plans while speaking as an invited guest at the Canadian championships in Montreal.

His two-year suspension for using steroids at the 1988 Olympics will end Sept. 24.

"It'll be somewhere indoors, around Jan. 15, I'm not sure where," he said. "But when the time comes, I'll be ready to run. I'm in good shape. I'm maybe 70 percent in shape but I'm not trying to force anything right now. We're trying to take it a step at a time. We have five more months of training."

His presence was not welcomed by some athletes, but he received polite applause from the crowd of about 1,500 when he entered Centre Claude-Robillard. He sat in a private box with Athletics Canada officials just before the 100-meter semifinals.