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Powell blames poor start on race starter

8 May 2006

By Gary Smith

World record holder Asafa Powell finally broke the 10 seconds barrier for the 100-metre dash this season despite a poor start in front of his home supporters at the third annual Jamaica International Invitational meeting, held in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday.

World leading mark, despite poor start

Powell, who sizzled to a world best equalling 9.95 second at the meeting, blamed the effect of what he described as the worst start of his life so far, on the race starter, who he felt held the runners a bit longer than anticipated in the blocks, which might have robbed the fans of a faster performance.

"It was the worst start I have ever gotten in my life so far," said Powell, who matched American Justin Gatlin's earlier world season leading performance set in Osaka also on Saturday.

"I came here to give Jamaica a good performance, but it wasn't what I expected, because the starter held us really long. I wanted to run faster, but the starter held us too long and it threw me off a lot."

The recently crowned Commonwealth Games 100-metres champion showed good composure in catching the field at the half-way mark to cross the finish line ahead of Trinidad and Tobago's Marc Burns (10.22) and Jamaica's Ainsley Waugh (10.31).

With that performance already laid down, Powell, who showed no other signs of disappointment, other than his start, said he's now looking forward to running faster every time he steps on the track and added that he's not worried about anything else, except to compete.

"It was a good race," he said. "Right now I am just looking forward to run really fast…. that's my aim right now."

Performances on the track will be Powell's statements

The clash between Powell and Gatlin is one of track and field's most anticipated moments for this campaign and the Jamaican world record holder said he's looking forward to meeting the American World and Olympic champion.

"When we (Powell and Gatlin) both meet, we'll see what happens. I am always looking forward to meet him (Gatlin)."

Last week American sprint legend Michael Johnson said the young rising superstars, including Powell are not as excited as the competitors of his era. However, the soft spoken Jamaican said he has his own style and made it clear that his performances on the track will be his mouthpiece.

"This is how I make my statement on the track and not with my mouth," Powell, the man who twice shut down to the previous world leading mark of 10.03sec said after the race.

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