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Bolt and Gay will not catch me, says Powell

12 August 2008

By Gary Smith

A year ago at the World Championships in Osaka, Asafa Powell had the gold medal in his sight but surrendered his lead in the 100m and was caught by American Tyson Gay and Derrick Atkins.

After watching the tape over and over the Jamaican went back to the drawing board and worked on those specific weak areas and he is now confident that if he gets out in the lead neither Gay nor countryman Usain Bolt will chase him down.

"A lot of people are saying Usain and Tyson are very strong finishers but if I get out in front of them no matter how they are finishing, they won't even close on me," Powell told reporters on Tuesday.

"I did some great things in practice for the past couple of weeks," Powell pointed out.

"This is the first time I've seen my coach so excited. So all I have to do is go there and just be like I was in the last two races and I do it."

Powell has earned the reputation as being a "choker" at the big meetings and there are many, including Great Britain's Olympic gold medallist Jason Gardener and American legend Michael Johnson, who believe the former world record holder will have difficulties in winning the Olympic title.

The Commonwealth Games champion from Melbourne 2006 has won his last three races, including a confidence boosting victory over world record holder Bolt in Stockholm.

His winning time of 9.82 seconds is his quickest thus far yet this season, which sees him heading into the world-class showdown as the third best performer this campaign behind arch challengers Bolt (9.72) and Gay (9.77).

The 100m dash will get underway on Friday with the opening rounds. The deciding race is scheduled for Saturday.

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