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Powell ready to renew rivalry with Gatlin

22 March 2006
www.caribbeannetnews.com

Fresh from his first ever international title, Jamaican world record holder Asafa Powell says he is now ready to resume his rivalry with American Olympic and World champion Justin Gatlin.

Powell clocked 10.03 seconds to win the men's 100 metres dash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia on Monday and he's confident that he can match Gatlin, who has dominated for the last two years.

"People have beaten Gatlin millions of times and I'll meet him when I'm ready," Powell was quoted as saying on BBC Sports website.

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

Last season Powell blazed to a stunning world record mark of 9.77 during an IAAF Athletic Grand Prix meeting in Athens, but a groin injury prevented him from challenging Gatlin for the World title in Helsinki.

However, the 23-year-old Jamaican said he has used last season as a learning situation and will approach this season with caution.

"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."

Powell was delighted with winning his first global title in Melbourne, but stated that the victory was more dedicated to the people who doubted his abilities in major competitions.

"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."

Powell, who is not expected to meet Gatlin until the IAAF Golden League and Grand Prix reaches its peak, will now turn his attention to winning his second gold medal in the men's 4x100 relay.



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