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Derrick Atkins happy to win first global medal in Osaka

29 August 2007
www.world-track.org

Derrick Atkins (Image of Sport) Derrick Atkins (Image of Sport)
www.imageofsport.com
By Gary Smith

Fresh from his silver medal at the 11th IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan on Sunday, Bahamian sprinter Derrick Atkins says, despite not winning the gold medal, he was happy to win a medal for his country in the glamour event.

Atkins came out from the pack to overtake race leader Asafa Powell and finished behind a fast finishing Tyson Gay in the men’s 100m dash in a new national record.

The Bahamian star posted 9.91-seconds to improve his previous record of 9.95-secs and win his country’s first medal at the championships.

“A new PB, national record and a silver,” Atkins told reporters after the race in the hot sun Sunday evening. “It means a lot to me and my country.

“I was aiming for the gold but I’m happy to take the silver. I’m a new kid on the block, still learning to run,” he added.

Atkins burst on the scene this season with some spirited runs and was considered by many as a strong medal contender. He also said that when he enters a race he always sticks to his race plan, regardless of his competition, and on Sunday he said nothing changed.

“I stuck to my race plan and it has come right. I was very confident this year and I’m going to be very confident next year,” he said with a huge smile.

Earlier this season, Atkins’ chance of running in Osaka looked slim after pulling out of the team for the Pan American Games in Brazil. He was told that he could be pulled from the side, but after several reviews was given the go ahead and he did not fail.

Meanwhile, after leading the race and tightening up in the final 40m, Powell said he was very disappointed at not winning his first gold medal at the world championships.

“I’m very disappointed,” Powell said after being caught in the close by Gay.

The American went on to take the race in 9.85, while Powell faded to third in 9.96.



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