By Gary Smith
Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Michael Frater of Jamaica believes it is just a matter of time before the men's 100-metres world record is lowered again, given the form produced by his fellow countrymen Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt this season.
Since his formal introduction to the 100m in May, Bolt has been bang on form - running world record times twice in the event in addition to securing the Olympic crown to his name in Beijing.
But more impressively, in wet and chilly conditions at last Friday's Memorial Van Damme Golden League meeting in Brussels, Bolt chased down Powell to win the men's 100m in a sizzling 9.77 seconds despite being pushed back by a strong -1.3 m/s headwind. And Powell was no slouch either, when he followed home, with an impressive 9.83.
After watching the race again on the big screen in stadium and measuring it with the conditions, Frater, the World Championships 100m silver medal winner at the 2005 edition, thought that with better conditions the world mark would have been revised.
"If the conditions here (in Brussels) were better the world record would have surely gone," said Frater after chasing Bolt and Powell to the finishing line. "Without a doubt it's just a matter of time before the world record goes," he added.
In that event, Jamaican athletes captured the top four places with Nesta Carter taking third in 10.07 and Frater completing the sweep, at 10.08.
At the Olympics in Beijing last month the same four men ran Jamaica into the history books when they shattered a 15-year-old world record to win the men's 4x100m relay in 37.10sec - knocking a solid three tenths of a second off the Americans' previous mark of 37.40.
Frater said the Americans are normally the ones in the forefront in the sprints, but Jamaicans are now turning the tide. He also said that he does not mind finishing in the minor places, so long as it is a Jamaican that finishes ahead of him.
"As long as it's a Jamaican I don't have a problem with it (not winning). It used to be the US (dominating) but now the games have changed," Frater commented.
"You know, it doesn't matter to me what order it's in just as long as it's a Jamaican on top."
Frater, the gold medal winner at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, after the initial winner Mickey Grimes of the United States tested positive, is enjoying his best season of his career so far.
After struggling to hit the sub-10 seconds barrier in his previous seasons, the 25-year-old has dipped below twice this year - running a career best 9.97 in the Olympic final and most recently a strong 9.98 behind Powell in Rieti, Italy for second on Sunday.
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