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Gay puts pressure on rival Powell

14 July 2007

American Tyson Gay insists the pressure is all on sprint rival Asafa Powell ahead of August's World Championships.

Gay, 24, runs in Sunday's British Grand Prix in Sheffield as he prepares to take on Powell in Japan.

The American boasts the fastest 100m in the world this year but he said: "Asafa is the world record holder so he has to be the favourite right now.

"I don't feel any pressure. Maybe he feels more pressure because everyone is expecting him to win the gold medal."

Powell clocked 9.90 seconds in Rome on Friday on his return from a groin injury but he was unable to beat the 9.76 Gay recorded in June.

Both sprinters admit that they are unlikely to go head-to-head before the World Championships, although Gay said: "I'm going to run Crystal Palace, he raced there in the last two years so there is a possibility he may race there."

On Sunday, Gay will line up alongside United States team-mates Leonard Scott and Shawn Crawford in Sheffield along with Olympic 200m silver medallist Francis Obikwelu and British quartet Jason Gardener, Tyrone Edgar, Mark Lewis Francis and Marlon Devonish.

The meeting has attracted a strong international line-up, with Liu Xiang, Oscar Pistorius, Jeremy Wariner, Bernard Lagat, Sanya Richards, Veronica Campbell, Carolina Kluft and Allyson Felix all competing.

Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius from South Africa will take on Wariner, former Olympic relay gold medallist Darold Williamson, Commonwealth champion John Steffensen of Australia, and former 400m hurdles Olympic champion Angelo Taylor in the 400m.

British pair Phillips Idowu and Tim Benjamin will both be absent.

Triple jumper Idowu has not recovered from the back injury which forced him out of the Golden League meeting in Paris earlier this month.

Idowu, winner of the first Golden League event of the season, is also out of Friday's Golden Gala meet in Rome.

Benjamin, who finished fifth in the 400m in the 2005 World Championships, misses out with a foot strain.

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