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I was joking around in Stockholm says Powell

28 July 2008

Asafa Powell says his almost embarrassing defeat to countryman Usain Bolt at the DN Galan Super Grand Prix in Stockholm last week was a result of him joking around half-way through the race.

In a race between the world's two fastest man over the 100m last Tuesday, Powell shot out like a rocket from the blocks, but was reeled in by Bolt who just loss the race by .01-seconds.

However, a confident Powell, who notably was caught by American Tyson Gay half-way through the 100m at the World Championships in Osaka last year, brushed aside comments about his lack of ability to finish under pressure.

"If you look at the tape (film), you'll see on the replay that I'm slowing down from about point (50 metres from the finish when Bolt began his attack)," Powell said at the press conference for Tuesday's Herculis 2008 track and field meeting in Monaca.

"I was looking to my side and joking around. I wasn’t really still pushing. Then I saw him coming and tried to pick it up again (speed) and it was nearly a little too late," Powell added.

After missing several meetings earlier this season because of injuries, Powell is now being forced to cram his scheduled in order to be race sharp for the Olympics.

His 100m dash in Monaco will be the third in seven days for the former world record holder, but he is targeting another fast time -- fast enough to improve his personal best of 9.74-secs -- the previous world record before Bolt's 9.72 run.

"I'm fit and still working on a few things," Powell said. "I'm working on bettering 9.74.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday), all I am concentrating on is running straight through the finish line…. It’s down to just me. I’m trying to focus on myself and not the competition."

A victory for the world bronze medallist at the Herculis, would be his third successive, following his 9.88 winning efforts in Stockholm and his 9.94 victorious run in London last Friday.

Another strong Caribbean line is expected to push the Jamaican to the wire.

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