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Gay says Powell is almost perfect, but isn`t unbeatable

9 September 2006
www.caribbeannetnews.com

By Gary Smith

Ever since he became known to the international public, the world record holder over 100-metres, Asafa Powell of Jamaica, has been on the radar of many top athletes and though he suffered a slight setback in his exciting career last year, which caused him to sit out for a while, nothing in the category has changed.

On Saturday Powell will line up as the firm favourite to win the men's 100m at the 4th IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, but his main challenger, Tyson Gay of USA, doesn't believe the Jamaican is unbeatable. However, Gay said for him to defeat the Commonwealth Games champion, he will have to show up with his best game every time they clash.

"I believe that any athlete is currently beatable. But I think to beat Asafa Powell I have to have my perfect race," Gay, the American in-form sprinter, who will also defend his 200m title, said at the meeting's press conference on Friday.

"I believe that this weekend I have to have more confidence in my start and I have to focus more on the beginning of my race to be with Asafa Powell at 60 metres. I think that will be a more exciting race, instead of me coming on strong at the end and Asafa starting off great and finishing strong."

Earlier this season there were talks of a possible Gay versus Powell season, since Justin Gatlin is currently fighting a drug ban. But the American described the Jamaican, who has posted the world record of 9.77 seconds three times already, as "almost perfect" and said that despite his own current form, which has been immaculate this season, he still needs to work on some things to confirm that he can surely beat the Jamaican sprint ace.

"Asafa (Powell) is very technically sound, he is almost perfect," Gay said. "But every time I go out and race I try to have enough confidence that I can get out of the blocks believing that I have the ability to win.

"I don't think about bringing about an 'Asafa upset'. I instead think about the few technical things I have to fix in my own race for me to beat him. And until I get that perfect race it is going to be very hard for me to beat this man."

"There are some things I have to work on to make sure I can be with him at 60m and I believe if I can be with him at that point in a race that there is the possibility that I can run just as fast as him," the 200m specialist said earlier this month.

Powell, these days is seen as a flat out 100m runner, but Gay believes the Caribbean sprinter can also deliver in the 200m as well.

"Asafa is capable of running 19.5 perhaps 19.4 for the 200m. After all he ran 19.90 and I heard he eased up before the line!"



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