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‘Gatlin borrowed my record’ – Powell

15 May 2006

Former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell, speaking for the first time since his record was broken, said that American Justin Gatlin borrowed his title.

Gatlin, 24, beat the previous mark of 9.77 set by Jamaica's Powell in Athens in June last year to finish ahead of Nigeria's Olusoji Fasuba (9.84) and fellow American and Olympic 200 metres champion Shawn Crawford (10.08).

"I am the best of the best because I am the Olympic champion, the world champion and the world record holder now," Gatlin told reporters after his world record performance of 9.76.

Gatlin’s performance stunned the track and field supporters of Jamaica, who were less than prepared for such a sizzling run from the American.

However, in his first interview since his 9.77 was surpassed, Powell said it’s only for a little time Gatlin will be called ‘the world’s fastest man’.

Capable of running 9.60

“He (Gatlin) borrowed the record. I will get it back. I am capable of running 9.60”, said Powell who has already run 9.95 this season.

Powell, who made these comments while competing in the 4x100m relay at the Felix Sanchez Invitational in Santa Domingo, said he is happy for Gatlin, but reminded everyone that he will settle the debate on June 11. “I am happy for Justin Gatlin,” said Powell. “We are good friends and will meet at the June 11 Grand Prix in Gateshead, England, where great things could happen.”

“I am in my best shape ever. I never felt so well. That is why I can say that I will get the record back”, continued Powell, who teamed up with his countrymen Nesta Carter, Mario Forsyth and 2005 Helsinki World Championships silver medallist Michael Frater to take MVP to a 4x100m relay win in 38.73 seconds on Saturday.

The quartet beat the US squad of Ron Bramlett, Mardy Scales, Coby Miller and Rae Edwards, who clocked 39.38. The Dominican Republic was third in 39.66.

Expect the record back on July 3

Powell also is slated to run in a meet in Oslo, Norway, on June 2, trainer Stephen Francis said.

"But I don't think he'll break it there because of the weather, but in Athens on July 3 or in Paris July 10 the record would fall," Francis said.

On Friday, Powell through his manager Paul Doyle, sent a message to Gatlin. “Tell Justin (Gatlin) congratulations (but) the record is only on loan”

Gatlin’s performance earned him triple crown of sprinting, which placed him alongside compatriots Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene and Canadian Donovan Bailey as the only male 100m runners to win Olympic and world championship gold medals and set a world record.

However, while Powell is saying he will get back his record, Gatlin made it clean that he can run faster.

"I'm trying to go 9.74, 9.73," Gatlin told reporters in Qatar. "The race (Friday) really wasn't one of my best races."

“I am actually more motivated now to go out there and run a faster time," Gatlin said.

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