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Powell, Gay to avoid showdown

13 September 2007

By Dave Ungrady

The sprinting paths of Tyson Gay, the world champion in the 100 meters, and Asafa Powell, the world-record holder in the event, will run parallel later this month in Asia. But they will not cross.

Gay is scheduled to race in the 100 meters and Powell is slated for the 200 meters at meets in Shanghai, China, on Sept. 28 and in the Yokohama Super Meet in Japan on Sept. 30, according to representatives for both athletes.

Powell's agent, Paul Doyle, said this week in a telephone interview that the Jamaican sprinter was initially scheduled to run the 100 meters in the Japanese meet. Organizers from the Super Meet switched Powell to the 200 meters after Gay won the world championship.

"We were disappointed," Doyle said. "Asafa false-started in the 100 meters at the meet last year, and we initially offered to run there as a favor to make up for that. They apologized, but accommodated Tyson because he is the world champion."

Doyle said negotiations for Powell with directors of the meet in China depended on Gay's preference after he won the world championship. After Gay chose the 100 meters, Powell was offered to run in the 200 meters.

Gay's agent, Mark Wetmore, said Wednesday through a spokesperson that discussions for Gay to run in the two meets focused on the 100 meters without Powell. "With Asafa in the race, in a matchup situation, the negotiation is a lot different," he said.

Doyle confirmed that the meet directors preferred Gay and Powell not run against each other to avoid paying higher appearance fees for both. "We would not have asked for anything more if they ran against each other," Doyle said.

The directors of the meets were unavailable for comment.

Gay is scheduled to run a meet in Daegu, South Korea, on Oct. 3. Powell is scheduled to run in the 100 meters in the Van Damme Golden League meet in Brussels on Friday and has committed to run in the Pedros Cup in Poland Sept. 19. He is considering competing in the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany on Sept. 22-23.

Gay has only competed once since winning gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100 meter relay at the world championship -- in the 4x100 meter relay with a U.S. team at the Zurich Golden League meet on Sept. 7. He has mostly been resting in Arkansas.

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