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With Bolt running 9.7, Powell sees sprint relay world record

21 May 2008

By Gary Smith

With Usain Bolt's magically fast 100-metre dash performance at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston, world record holder in the event, Asafa Powell, believes Jamaica stands a great chance of breaking USA's 4x100m relay world record.

Powell, at 9.74-seconds and Bolt (9.76), are the two fastest men ever to run the dash and the record holder who won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, last year, believes the sixteen-year-old record of 37.40, set at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, could be in danger.

"The world record can go for sure with two guys running 9.7 and we (Jamaica) have other athletes out there capable of running sub-10," Powell told the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday.

"So we have a great chance of breaking the world record."

Powell injured a chest muscle while lifting weights and was forced to miss a few meetings this season, but returned to training last week and he said he hasn't "lost anything."

"Surprisingly I went back to training and I haven't lost anything, everything is still there so things are looking very positive right now," he said.

While the Commonwealth Games champion was busy getting back to full strength, his fellow islanders and arch rivals were busy scorching up the track with some fast times in an important year – the year of the Olympic Games.

However, the sprinter did not seemed too worried about those performances, but rather, he was looking forward to doing his thing at both the national championships in Kingston at the end of June and in Beijing in August.

"I don't know what to expect right now," he said. "I know I'm in good shape and I just want to go to trials and make the team and then go to the Olympics and really put out everything."

Powell has not run the 100-metres since his seasonal best of 10.04-seconds during the Australian Grand Prix series in Melbourne, three months ago and not scheduled to race before the Jamaica trials.

Nonetheless, he will continue to travel with the Maximum Velocity Performance (MVP) Track Club while his teammates such as Sherone Simpson, Michael Frater and Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Darrel Brown, among others, compete.

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