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Powell confident of going faster than 9.7

1 November 2007

By Gary Smith

Jamaica’s world record holder Asafa Powell is confident that he is capable of improving his own world mark when the new season begins next year.

Powell, who failed to win the gold medal at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan this summer, and then lowered the world record from 9.77 seconds to 9.74 at the IAAF Rieti Grand Prix meeting in Italy days afterwards, believes he has the ability to run 9.6.

“I am going to do better than 9.74. I want to go 9.6 – that’s the aim,” Powell said in an article on the IAAF website.

The 25-year-old who got injured in his final race of the season said he was surprised to see his time in the heats, seeing that he was basically cruising in the race.

“I was really surprised, because I did not know I was running that fast,” he said. “I was very shocked, and this time around it felt a lot easier than the first time.

“I can say that you will see 9.74 erased. I told a lot of people before that than I am going to run 9.77 and I did

Powell, the Commonwealth Games champion from 2006 has already brushed aside his disappointment from Osaka, and is committed to deliver his best in each practice session in his quest to bring home his first Olympic gold medal in Beijing.

“It’s a real big year (2008) for me,” Powell said. “I will just try my best not to miss any practice sessions. I will just have to pray to God and ask him to keep me healthy.”

At the world championships this summer, Powell, who was well set to win the gold medal in the 100m, until he was chased down by American Tyson Gay in the last 40m, has decided to start focusing on himself and his own race – rather than worrying about his opponents.

“In the future, I would like to focus as less as possible on other athletes,” Powell said. “I should focus on my own race.

“Only in that way should I be able to get my Olympic gold next year,” he added.

Powell is expected to start training in two weeks time under the guidance of his coach Stephen Francis and he is optimistic that he will be ready to conquer all in 2008.

“Once I stay healthy, I don’t think anyone can beat me (next season),” he said. “The main aim is to stay healthy.”

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