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`I am the best`, says Powell

15 June 2007
www.world-track.org

Asafa Powell (Image of Sport) Asafa Powell (Image of Sport)
www.imageofsport.com
By Gary Smith

Jamaican superstar sprinter Asafa Powell is confident that despite what has been happening around him and the injuries that set him on the back-foot for the past couple of weeks, he is currently still the best sprinter in the world.

During a press conference in Oslo, ahead of the ExxonMobil Bislett Games, the meeting that kick-starts the IAAF Golden League 2007, the Jamaican said that if the atmosphere in his surrounding is good, then his fans can expect something different from what they have seen this season.

“I am the best sprinter at the moment,” Powell said at the conference on Wednesday. “I never doubt myself, and I believe that I will win. Yes, I am the best.

“My target is to run under 10sec. How close to 9, I cannot tell you now, but I am in very good shape now.”

Powell opened up his season with what then was a world-leading 9.97 in Belgrade on 29 May in his only 100m this year, before finishing third to American Xavier Carter in the 200m with a time of 20.55 at the Prefontaine Classic Grand Prix in Oregon, last Sunday.

Lining up to race against the fastest man on the planet are several top name athletes, who are destine to end the Jamaican streak of winning.

Portugal’s reining European champion, Francis Obikwelu has become the latest candidate to confirm their challenge to Powell on Friday.

The Olympic silver medallist joins World Championships silver medallist Michael Frater, 2003 world silver medal winner Darrel Brown and Guadeloupe-born French star Ronald Pognon in the lineup.

“I am coming back to the Bislett Games because of the audience. If they do their best, then I can give a little extra.”

“Last year the atmosphere was good here (Oslo) but it (the weather) was cold but I still ran 9.96 (heat) and 9.98 (final), so I hope with better weather I can do a little better now….It’s a fast track here,” Powell added.

The Commonwealth Games champion added that he would not be disappointed if he did not break the world record, come Friday.

“I won’t be disappointed if I don’t improve the World record (here in Bislett). The most important event for me this year is the World Championships (Osaka, Japan, 25 Aug to 2 Sep 2007) but I also hope to win the Golden League Jackpot.

“To win the Jackpot it is going to be really tough,” confirmed Powell who was one of six athletes to share the $1 Million prize in 2006.

Powell equalled the world record of 9.77secs, twice last season on his way to running undefeated and he is hoping to achieve the feat this season.



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