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Powell targets world record again in 2007

9 January 2007

By Gary Smith

After a dominant 2006 season, Jamaican 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell says lowering his world mark of 9.77 seconds is of the greatest importance to him in the upcoming season.

With this being the year of the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan, the sprint ace, who twice matched the world record he currently shares with American Justin Gatlin (which is still awaiting a final decision from the IAAF after Gatlin was banned for using drugs), is hoping to have an injury-free season as he targets great achievements in 2007.

"First hurdle for me is to break the world record, because I believe that's what all of Jamaica wants to see," Powell told local reporters on Friday.

"And when the World Championships come around, it's to win that gold medal in the 100 and the (sprint) relay and if I'm doing any other event (200m) to win the gold medal and... finish the season healthy without injury and in perfect condition," he added.

Powell will once again sit out the indoor season in an attempt to prepare to the fullest for the outdoor campaign and he believes he will be in better shape than he was last year.

"I'm feeling a lot stronger... the work-load is heavier than last year and I'm managing a lot better, so that's why I'm so motivated," he added.

Under the guidance of coach Stephen Francis, the 24-year-old blasted his way to a record 12 sub-10 second clockings last year, named the IAAF and Track and Field News Magazine Male Athlete of the Year, as well as winning the Commonwealth Games title and claiming a share of the IAAF Golden League $1-million Jackpot.

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