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Powell aware of the challenge Gay will produce in Stuttgart

9 September 2006
www.caribbeannetnews.com

By Gary Smith

Despite boasting an undefeated run of 15 races under his belt, Asafa Powell, the co-world record holder in the 100-metres will be mindful of American sprinter Tyson Gay when they clash in the dash at this weekend's 4th IAAF World Athletics Final at the Gottleib Daimler Stadium in Stuttgart, Germany.

Powell got a bullet of a start when they last met in Berlin last weekend to capture the race in a sizzling 9.86 seconds, but said after watching the race and a few more clashes between himself and the American, he is aware of the strong finish of the 200m speciallist and will be on his guard when it comes to the closing metres of an event in which he has a bad habit of slowing down towards the end.

"He's (Gay) someone that I should be really, really watching," Powell said at the press conference on the eve of their clash in the discipline. "When I watch the races that we have run together, he’s finishing really strong."

"I'm a person that has a bad habit of easing up at the finish line. And if I get really careless he'll get by and get me," he added.

Powell, the Commonwealth Games champion, who has achieved the world record of 9.77sec three times (twice this season) said Gay is currently in superb form and should he gets out to a stunning start it will take his best run to fend off the challenge.

He, however, like many, has full confidence in his own abilities and noted that the performance in Brussels, where he reacted late to a fast starter's send off showed that he's capable of running faster when he's pushed."If you watched my race in Brussels, they (his competitors) really pushed me to run to the line there. Normally I get out and by 60 meters I’m already ahead of the pack," Powell said. "Then I'm just relaxing and running through.

"That (the Brussels run) gave me a very big boost to know that I can lose a couple of metres and still run back and go by them and still go under 10 seconds. Maybe I just really need to run like that all the time," Powell joking said.

He added however, that "if Tyson gets his good start and is up there, he can really push me a lot more."

Despite dominating the 100m all season and running a hattrick of world records, Powell still believes he still has some work to do before calling himself one of the greatest athletes in the world.

"I want to be one of the greatest athletes in the world. And if you look back at all the great athletes, like Maurice Greene, who has the world records, the world championships, the Olympic title, I guess I have to have something like that to be one of the greatest athletes in the world."



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