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No Powell, Bolt clash at Jamaica Championships

22 June 2007

Despite early week speculations of a possible clash between World record holder Asafa Powell and World Junior record holder Usain Bolt over 200-metres at the Jamaica National Championships, Bruce James, president of the MVP track club of which Powell belongs, has written off that case.

According to reports, Powell will only race in the 100m, an event in which he has totally dominated globally in the 2006 term.

Powell won the half-lap title last year in the absence of Bolt with a personal best of 19.90-seconds. However, he has opted to race only over his specialty this season at the championships.

The Jamaican sizzled to the world-record of 9.77 in 2005 before being injured and forced out of the World Championships in Helsinki. Last season he came back more prepared which resulted in him twice equalling the world mark in a dominant undefeated season, but despite feeling “stronger than ever,” Powell, with a long important season ahead of him, has perhaps rightfully made the correct choice in sticking with the dash.

The world’s fastest man will start overwhelming favourite to win the 100m in Kingston, especially after his back-to-back sub-10 seconds run of 9.97 and 9.94 earlier this season.

Powell, the Commonwealth Games champion from Melbourne 2006, will clash in the dash with reigning World silver medallist Michael Frater, Marvin Anderson, Dwight Thomas, Chris Williams, teenage star Yohan Blake and Steve Mullings, a man on the comeback from a two year suspension.

“I expect to run a personal best,” Mullings told local media on Thursday ahead of an exciting weekend of athletics in the Caribbean island.

“I have prepared myself to be in the top three of the 100m but with everybody running fast it’s going to be hard.”

Meanwhile with Sherone Simpson being out of the running to repeat her feat from last year, Olympic champion Veronica Campbell, Kerron Stewart, the NCAA 200m champion and Sheri Ann Brooks, the Commonwealth Games champion will lead the field in the women’s event.

Also expecting to post strong challenges will be Simone Facey and Aileen Bailey, who both have been running well this season.

The men’s 200m will see Bolt racing against Omar Brown, Williams, Mullings, Clement Campbell, Ricardo Williams and Anderson for the crown.

The men’s and women’s 400m should both be exciting as well with Novlene Williams and NCAA champion Ricardo Chambers being the ones to beat.

Kenia Sinclair should have no problems in the women’s 800m; neither should world-leader Melaine Walker in the women’s 400m Hurdles.

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