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Powell extends undefeated streak in the 100m

10 September 2006

By Gary Smith

Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell continued his unbeaten run this season with another win in the 100-metres, this time at the 4th IAAF World Athletics Final (WAF) on the green track at the Gottlieb-Daimler Stadium in Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday evening.

Showed his class after poor start

Reacting lazily to the sound of the starter’s gun, the big Jamaican ace, quickly made up ground on the strong field with a smart relaxed run, which resulted in another sub-10 seconds timing for the Commonwealth Games champion.

Powell raced to the finish line in 9.89 seconds to closely edge World Indoor 60m champion Leonard Scott of USA, who stopped the clock at 9.91 and Tyson Gay (9.92).

The Jamaican's winning time was a WAF record and also marked the 12th time this season he produced a clocking under the 10-seconds barrier.

“I was concentrating on not getting the second false start so I just stayed in my blocks a little too long,” said Powell, after Olympic 200m champion Shawn Crawford put the entire team in trouble with a controversial false start.

“I felt dead in the first half of the race, but then told myself that I can run as fast as any of these guys. And then I picked up my stride and came through in the end.”

The 23-year-old Powell has now extended his winning streak to twenty-two consecutive wins from all dash starts.

Another Caribbean sprinter, Marc Burns, the 2006 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist from Melbourne, Australia finished at the base position with a disappointing time of 10.24. Martinique-born French star Ronald Pognon clocked a seasonal best time of 10.10 for 6th place.

Simpson beaten in half-lap

Things weren’t as successful for Powell’s club training member Sherone Simpson, who was demoted to third in the women’s 200m dash. The Jamaican also got out to a sluggish start and was unable to match up with World champion Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards.

Felix’s tremendous late season run continued when she took the race in 22.11sec, which matched her own career best. Richards posted a personal best of 22.17 to take second and Simpson, the year's fastest runner, at 22.00, coming home in third in 22.22.

Bahamian “Golden Girl” Debbie Ferguson picked up 4th in 22.58, just outside her 22.56 seasonal best, while Cayman Islands’ Cydonie Mothersill took 6th 22.89.

Blackwood and Francique fail to spark

Jamaican 2002 Commonwealth Games champion Michael Blackwood and two-time reigning World Indoor champion Alleyne Francique both struggled in the men’s 400m.

Blackwood clocked 45.09 for fifth place in front of Francique (45.28). Both sprinters finished behind American inform World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner, who had to dig deep fend off the challenge of Congalese Gary Kikaya.

The American found something extra in the final metres to take the race in 44.02 over Kikaya, who posted an African record of 44.10 for second. American LaShawn Merritt was third in a career best time of 44.14.

Robles ties national record

In another exciting race at the meeting Olympic champion and world record holder Xiang Liu of China won the men’s 110m hurdles with a scorching time of 12.93. Cuban World Indoor silver medallist Dayron Robles won second place with a time pf 13.00, which equaled Anier Garcia’s national record set in 2000 when he won the Olympic title in Sydney.

Edged out for second was four-time World champion Allen Johnson, who was nipped at the line. His time was 13.01. World Indoor champion Terrence Trammell, who was expected to finish close to the top was a distant fourth in 13.22.

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