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Powell makes legendaries look like nothing, says Lewis-Francis

14 December 2006

By Gary Smith

His disappointment from losing the 2004 Athens Olympic gold medal is now behind him and is now seen as the world's most visible sprinter.

Who is this? Some would dare to ask. Well it is Jamaica's world-renowned sprinter, Asafa Powell, and the praises for his achievements in the just-concluded 2006 track and field season continue to pour down from viewers and athletes all around.

Britain's Olympic and European sprint relay gold medallist, Mark Lewis-Francis, is the latest athlete reminding the athletic fraternity just how much the Jamaican world record holder has accomplished since he started his track and field career.

"I'm going to keep it so realistic it is unreal," the 2001 IAAF World Indoor Championships bronze medallist from Lisboa, Portugal, said. "He (Powell) makes Carl Lewis and Linford Christie look like nothing, which is crazy."

Powell became the first man to repeat world records when he matched his own 100-metre mark of 9.77 seconds, twice this season, and Lewis-Francis, who had the world at his mercy after winning the World Junior title in 2000, believes the 2006 Commonwealth Games champion is a cut above him.

"There is a lot of work to be put in for me to be running with Powell at the moment. He has run the world record so many times it's unreal."

"It was not that long ago that I was standing on the line and I wasn't scared of anybody, I could have raced anyone."

The British sprinter has failed to transform his junior success into the senior level in the individual event, but he feels there is a lot of time to get ready to match the likes of Powell.

"I lost my fitness, I have had to go back to square one, get fit again and regroup. I'm still young, I'm only 24. Linford came out at 25 and won all his medals after that."

Powell has been dominant this season after missing out last year with a groin injury. He ran undefeated on his way to earning a share of the IAAF million dollar Golden League jackpot prize, as well as becoming the first man in history to run 12 sub-10-second 100m times in a year.

The 24-year-old also improved his 200m personal best from 20.06secs to 19.90secs to finish in the top ten lists of half-lap sprinters on the IAAF top listing.

In 2004 Powell finished 5th in the semi-finals of the 60m dash at the 10th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest with a personal best time of 6.71, a time which he would undoubtedly improve should he line up over the in the short sprint again.

However, with his fruitful season overlapping into the month September, with the Seiko Super Track & Field Meet in Yokohama being his last, Powell has decided to sit out yet another indoor season to prepare fully for the World Championships.

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