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Powell all set to take on Gatlin

20 March 2006
bbc.co.uk

New Commonwealth 100m champion Asafa Powell says he is ready to take on Olympic and World champion Justin Gatlin after his gold in Melbourne.

"People have beaten Gatlin millions of times and I'll meet him when I'm ready," Powell said.

"Gatlin has two titles on me but I'll go out and do what I have to do."

A groin injury prevented Powell, who set a new world mark of 9.77 seconds last year, from squaring up for a showdown with Gatlin at the 2005 World Championships.

The pair did meet in the Olympic final in Athens but the American came out on top as Powell trailed home in fifth place.

Powell and Gatlin will not meet in any major championships in 2006 but are likely to face each other on the Golden League circuit, which begins in Oslo on 2 June.

"As soon as I get back to my old self I will get out there and challenge him," Powell declared.

"I know what I'm capable of doing but I did not get a chance to prove myself last year."

The 23-year-old, whose ambition was to become an electrical engineer, was pleased to prove his doubters wrong by winning his first major crown at the MCG.

However, the Jamaican knows he will face a tougher challenge if he wants to dominate on the world stage.

"It was important for me to win gold - people had been saying there is a curse on me," said Powell.

"But the World Championships are against stronger guys and I have to be ready for them.

"For me now I have to concentrate on the next race, the next race and the one after that."



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