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Powell swipes at officials after missing world record in Brussels

28 August 2006

By Gary Smith

An angry Jamaican sprinter, Asafa Powell, blamed officials at the Memorial Van Damme Golden League meeting on Friday for a poor start, which he said may have denied him the shot at breaking his 100-metres World record.

The 23-year old Jamaican managed to recover from a dreadful start to win the race in 9.99 seconds, but complained after the race that the starter didn't give him a chance to settle in his blocks.

"I wasn't even ready in the blocks. I was kind of fixing myself and then I heard a bang," Powell told reporters at the news conference. "I could have broken a record today," he added.

The world record holder, who became the first man to run ten sub-10 seconds timing in one season, found himself at the base position at the sound of the gun and had to work over time to display another sizzling run to catch American World Indoor 60m champion Leonard Scott in the closing metres.

The world saw another side of Powell rarely seen after the race when he first flashed off the starting officials from a distance, then flicked his winner's bouquet from the flower girl's hand in disgust when she tried to hand it to him.

"When I crossed the finish line and I still saw 9.9 I wondered if I could have run under 9.7," the 2006 Commonwealth Games champion from Melbourne, Australia said.

"To really get out the blocks that late and run 9.9 that's really awesome," added Powell.

However, despite the dilemma, Powell's victory in Brussels saw him securing his fifth Golden League win of the season and remained on course for a share of the one-million dollar Golden League jackpot.

Richards hits out at officials too

Jamaican-born American Sanya Richards, who won the women's 400-metre in 50.02secs, one clear second over Jamaican Novlene Williams was also surprised to see the officials firing the gun so soon during the meeting.

"I saw Asafa's face and I thought he (the starter) would call it back. I was surprised he didn't call it back. I thought it was a false start," Richards, who also stayed on course to win a share of the Golden League jackpot, said.

"I thought it was a quick start ... usually you get time to get in the blocks," she added.

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