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Powell calls for more Jamaican athletes to be recognised

14 December 2006

By Gary Smith

Jamaican world record holder and IAAF Male Athlete of the Year, Asafa Powell, voiced his disappointment at the lack of recognition given to other athletes who have served the country well.

Speaking with media outlets, after copping yet another award in the island - this time from the Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), on Wednesday at a luncheon in Kingston, Powell pointed out that Michael Frater, the reigning World Championship silver medallist from Helsinki, Finland, has not received as much recognition as he should for an outstanding achievement.

"He (Frater) got the silver medal, but to me he is the gold medal winner," Powell said, adding that his view is based on situations he would not discuss at the moment.

"I think he should have been recognised a lot more," the world's fastest man added about his training partner.

Powell added that Frater has done something that not even he had accomplished yet, winning a medal at a World Championship, and he feels the former Texas Christian University star sprinter deserves the necessary backing.

Powell was presented with a special award from the IAAF by the legendary Herb McKinley for his outstanding achievements this year, which included tying the 100-metre world record of 9.77 seconds twice.

Another world-renowned sprinter, Sherone Simpson, was also given an award during the luncheon in the nation's capital for her best-ever season to date.

Stephen Francis, who is the coach of both Powell and Simpson, was also honoured for his outstanding work with his athletes, who have gone on to represent the country well on the international circuit.

Meanwhile, Howard Aries, President of the JAAA noted that the association would be looking into making the awards luncheon an annual one.

The JAAA is also looking into placing more emphasis on promoting long distance races in the country.

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