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Powell going for more glory in Stuttgart

7 September 2006
www.caribbeannetnews.com

By Gary Smith

The world’s fastest man and arguably one of the best sprinters of all time, Asafa Powell, the Jamaican sprint ace, will now turn his attention to this weekend’s 4th IAAF World Athletic Finals in Stuttgart, Germany, following last weekend’s jackpot winning performance in Berlin.

Powell, the only man to repeat a world record three times when he completed the landmark of 9.77 seconds for the third time in his career in Zurich on August 18, will line up in the men’s 100-metres dash against the likes of in-form American Tyson Gay, European sprint double champion Francis Obikwelu and Olympic 200m champion Shawn Crawford from the U.S.

The Jamaican also achieved the record at the Tsiklitiria in Athens, Greece on June 14 of 2005 and at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in Gateshead on June 11 of this year.

Another Caribbean athletic Marc Burns, who has a personal best of 9.96sec, World Indoor 60m champion Leonard Scott and team mate Marcus Brunson, as well as French star Ronald Pognon, will also challenge the top runners for a top three spot.

The world quickest female over both the 100m and 200m this year, Sherone Simpson, a training mate of Powell at their training base in Kingston will start as favourite in the women’s race, which will also feature Me'Lisa Barber, the World Indoor 60m champion and ex-world champion Torri Edwards, both of whom are from USA.

Bahamian veteran sprinter Debbie Ferguson and European champion Kim Gevaert of Belgium will make the race interesting for the top runners.

Simpson, will also line up in the women’s half-lap, an event in which she has posted a fast 22.00sec twice this season to cement herself as the top female sprinter for the 2006 campaign.

Jamaica’s World Junior 200m record holder and former age group champion, Usain Bolt, will battle with Americans Gay and Wallace Spearmon in the men’s race for top honours. Chris Williams, a former World silver medallist in the event, will also race in this event.

Checking in for the men’s 400m on the Caribbean side of things will be two-time reigning World Indoor champion Alleyne Francique of Grenada and Jamaica’s former Commonwealth Games champion Michael Blackwood.

The two will face the likes of American World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner, who, like Powell, went six races straight without defeat, will share in the million dollar jackpot prize in the IAAF Golden League series.

Jamaicans Novlene Williams and Shericka Williams will go up against American Sanya Richards, Bulgaria’s Vania Stambolova and Senegal’s 2001 World champion Amy Mbacke Thiam, who was recently crowned African champion, for the top positions in the female race.



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