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Powell determine to win gold at Beijing Olympics

4 August 2008
www.world-track.org

Asafa Powell Asafa Powell
By Gary Smith

After missing out at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan last summer, former world record holder Asafa Powell says he is determine to strike gold at the Beijing Olympic Games, which begin on Friday.

With 100 metres world record holder Usain Bolt, who on Saturday was given the green light by Coach Glen Mills to sprint double officially added the line up and American world champion Tyson Gay optimistic about being fit for the Games, a world-class field is expected to wrestle for the title.

However, Powell, who last week in Monaco, ran a seasonal best of 9.82seconds to win his third consecutive 100m in July, believes his current form is at high-quality and is ready to race for glory.

"I hope that I will win the gold medal in men's 100 meters," Powell told reporters after arriving at Beijing International. "That is why I am here.

"I am training very well now. I don't care about my opponents in the competition. I just follow my own steps, follow my own run," he added.

Four years ago in Athens, Powell was favoured to win the gold medal in the event, but failed to finish with a medal after finishing fifth behind American Justin Gatlin in 9.94secs.

Powell returned to the stadium the following year to break the world record when he ran 9.77. He then eclipsed the mark at the Rieti Grand Prix meeting in Italy last September with a stunning run of 9.74, but then watched the record fell to fellow Jamaican Bolt ran at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York City on May 31.

Bolt's time was a remarkable 9.72 seconds, achieved in what was only his fifth ever competitive 100m dash.

Powell's coach Stephen Francis said losing the world record lifted Powell to train at another level.

"Since May (Powell) has been almost reformed. It has done wonders for his performance," he in the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday.

"He's in great, great shape and it's going to take a superhuman effort to beat him."

Powell defeated Bolt in a close race in Stockholm to square their match-ups at one-a-piece, this after Bolt got home ahead of the former at the Jamaican Championships in June.



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