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Gatlin targets Powell’s world record this season

12 January 2006
www.caribbeannetnews.com

Justin Gatlin Justin Gatlin
American Olympic 100-meter champion Justin Gatlin has set his main target for the forthcoming track and field season on breaking the world record of Jamaica's Asafa Powell.

"I'm coming after the world record," Gatlin told reporters, after arriving at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Tuesday, for the second annual Douglas Forrest Development meet.

"I know he (Powell) is coming after the World Championships and Olympic Games gold medals, so right now, in our minds, we want to be what each other is.

"I want to be a world record holder, he wants to be a champion," the American added.

Powell has to prove himself

On June 14, 2005, Powell officially erased American Maurice Greene's 100m world record of 9.79, during an IAAF Grand Prix meeting in Athens, Greece, but Gatlin insisted that he's the world's best sprinter and Powell will have to prove himself by breaking the record again.

"Right now I'm the man on top of the hill, he (Powell) has to come and get me," the 23-year-old, who won the sprint double at the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, last summer said.

"It's another year, another day. He (Powell) just has to come out and do the same thing over, or do even better this time," Gatlin said. "Just go out there and break the record again."

Focus was not on the world record

Gatlin, who along with Olympic 200m champion Shawn Crawford, Bahamas' Chandra Sturrup and Jamaica's Dwight Thomas are all under the guidance of Jamaican-born coach and Olympian Trevor Graham at the Sprint Capitol Track Club, said he and Powell had contrasting goals for last season.

"Asafa is on a different page than I am. He was focused on breaking the world record at that point in time. I was focused on winning the world championships," he explained.

"This year I think will we will both be on the same page and we want to see something happen."

"You will see great battles between us. It's a gentlemen's race. I have much respect for him and I hope he has much respect for me."



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"I know he (Powell) is coming after the World Championships and Olympic Games gold medals, so right now, in our minds, we want to be what each other is.
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