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Powell says he never intended run under 10-second in Melbourne

24 March 2006

Asafa Powell poses with his flag after he won the men 100 meter dash at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia on March 20, 2006 (Daniel Peters/Allsports) Asafa Powell poses with his flag after he won the men 100 meter dash at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia on March 20, 2006 (Daniel Peters/Allsports)
Jamaican high-profile sprinter, Asafa Powell, who on Monday won his first major championships gold medal at the 18th Commonwealth Games being held at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, said he never intended to break the 10-second barrier during his flamboyant run to win the 100 metre finals in Melbourne.

Still early in the season

Powell exploded from the blocks like a shot from a gun, but just when it seems as if he would crack 10-secs for his first global title, the Jamaican superstar switched-off the stream in the last 10 metres of the race with knowledge that gold was already in his grasp to cross the line in 10.03sec.

Despite the impressive manner at which the world record holder took the crown, you could sense the disappointment among the 79,000 spectators, who had earlier watched him coast through his semi-finals effortlessly in the same time.

However, despite the critics, Powell said he was running according to instructions and a sub-10sec performance was not on the card unless it was required to win the gold.

"This was my plan not to run all out," he said. "This is March and why push it in March when the training is not max out yet."

"Why go out there when I'm afraid I'm going to get injured. I know the people in Melbourne were looking for a sub-10 (time), but maybe next time I'll go faster."

"It was only early in the season and I just wanted to take it easy. I was just looking to win the race."

Dedicated victory to family tragedy

In the meantime, Powell revealed his inspiration to win gold in the Games came from a double family tragedy which took place in the early stages of his track career.

The 23-year-old said he dedicated his win in Melbourne to older brothers Michael and Vaughn, who died in two tragic events.

Four-year-ago in New York, Powell lost sibling Michael, who was murdered in a taxi. The following year, the family suffered from another unfortunate circumstance when Vaughn collapsed and died on a football field in Georgia.

"I took it (their death) really hard back then, but now I dedicate everything in my career to them," Powell said.

"I could have quit but I never thought about it because I know they would have wanted me to continue running, so why stop?"

"I've still got too much to do."

Powell, who only took up track and field after watching the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000 has already stamped his class in the sport by become the fastest man in the world, when he sizzled to 9.77sec in Athens last summer.

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