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Bolt record run takes the pressure off me, says Powell

8 June 2008

By Gary Smith

Jamaican former World record holder Asafa Powell believes Usain Bolt has done him a world of good by taking away the record he set in the 100-metres in Italy last September.

Powell, who is currently in Eugene as a spectator with his MVP Track Club for the Prefontaine Classic, said it was quite overwhelming to match his performances time-after-time, but now that Bolt has lowered his previous mark of 9.74-seconds to 9.72-sec, he can now concentrate on just running.

"Well, I guess it takes away some of the pressure off me and people can stop bothering me now," a spirited Powell said on Saturday.

"Now I can be a lot more focus on what I need to achieve."

The World bronze medallist was forced out of several meeting earlier this season with an injury he sustain in practice, but now he said he is ready to start competing again.

As a test run before the Jamaica Olympic Trials in Kingston, Jamaica from June 27-29, Powell will travel to compete at Trinidad & Tobago's National Track & Field Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium between June 20-22.

The meeting will see Powell racing against the in-form collegiate sprinter Ricardo Thompson, who has posted two sub-10 seconds already this season and he said the decision to run in Trinidad was not made by him.

"I didn't make that decision, my coach did it," he said.


Meanwhile, Powell echoed the same statement made by Bolt in mid-week about a no show down between the world’s top two fastest men ever - confirming that the 100m clash at the Jamaica Championships is just to book his Olympic spot for Beijing.

"The trials is not going to be a show down, its just going to be to make the national team so there's nothing to be excited about."

Asked if he believes that a man can run 9.6 in the 100m, Powell corrected the question by saying, 'you should ask can Asafa run 9.6'?

He then replied saying: "definitely....yes that's possible I have the confidence and I think it's going to happen."

Powell, however, dismissed any indications about him making the world record his primary focus for the summer.

"I don't know [if the record will go this year] I am not really thinking about it right now, [but] it's possible," he said.

"Where the record can go, who knows? It's just to be patient and see what exactly can be done.

"Whenever I go on the track a world record is possible, but I am not really focusing on the world record right now."

Powell has set, equaled and removed the world mark at will in last three seasons. Every time someone would come close to the mark he would step on the track and reminded them that it’s his.

However, though he would love to see the world record back beside his name, the 25-year-old was not too keen on chasing the current mark Bolt set at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, last weekend.

"It's [the record] not on my mind I am not thinking about it," he said. "The world record comes at anytime.

"There's never a time I think about a world record and I go out on the track and I see the clock stop on a record time, so it just for me to focus on what I want to achieve this year and not the world record because it is automatic, it will come."

In the meantime, although he would not be drawn into a possible world record match with his fellow countryman, Powell did congratulate him on his achievements.

"Usain had a great performance he is very talented. I was very happy for him."

"He is from my country so it makes me happy we can keep the world record in Jamaica."

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