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American sprint legend believes Powell has more to achieve

5 April 2007

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By Gary Smith

American sprint legend Michael Johnson believes there is more to come from Jamaica's World record holder Asafa Powell, following his brilliant showings in the 100-metre dash last season.

Powell, the Commonwealth Games champion, who was among four track and field athletes nominated for the 2007 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, had a superb 2006 season - equalling his own world record of 9.77-secs twice on his way to running a record 12 sub-10-seconds clocking in one season and 25 overall in career.

"Asafa Powell has become the dominant force in men’s sprinting over the last 12 months. You can tell he feels he has something to prove," Johnson said in a Laureus release last month.

"He has run a world record 9.77 seconds three times now and you just know there is more to come."

Despite several money making opportunities to make a switch and train on foreign soil, Powell opted to stick to the climate and culture he is familiar with and train on his home soil in Kingston, Jamaica. For that, he received rewarding comments from Johnson, who won gold medals in the 200m and 400m at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

"I also like the way he has stayed honest to his roots and spends a great deal of time in Jamaica," Johnson said. "That will help to encourage young athletes there."

After injuries forced him out of the 2005 World Championships, the 24-year-old Powell bounced back from his setbacks to win his first major global title during the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, last March.

He then went on to run undefeated in the campaign to take centre stage in men's sprinting and proved that he was world's finest sprinter. His achievements saw him capturing several awards, including being named IAAF's 2006 World Athlete of the Year.

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