ASAFA NOT SHAKEN BY OPPONENTS – GREAT INTERVIEW
Posted by Dresonic on July 2, 2008
RUNNING 9.68 second is fast, really fast. Actually, Tyson Gay’s clocking at the United States’ Olympic Trials in Oregon at the weekend is the fastest ever recorded over the distance.
It was done with a following wind of 4.1 metres per second (mps), well above the allowable limit for a world record, 2.0.
Asafa Powell is no stranger to the 100m world record, having owned the mark for close to three years – from June 2005 to May 31 this year with multiple 9.77 timings which he lowered to 9.74 in Rieti, Italy, last September.
So 9.68 with such a forceful wind motoring one on doesn’t scare him.
“It shows that he (Gay) is in pretty good shape,” Powell told The Gleaner when asked about the fast time recorded by the American who won the sprint double at the World Championship in Osaka last year.
“Running 9.68 with 4+ (wind reading) is nothing to really look at because a lot of people can do that. It’s like running in a hurricane,” he joked.
In 1996, Barbadian sprinter Obadele Thompson clocked what was then the fastest time recorded over the distance, 9.69 seconds, with a storm kicking at his heels at 5.0 mps. Two years after, he recorded his personal best, 9.87.
Before this weekend, Gay’s best was 9.84 seconds. He decimated that by seven-hundredths of a second to 9.77, while running in the quarter-finals at the same US trials.
Besides Gay, Powell’s compatriot Usain Bolt has been burning up the track lately, having established the new world record of 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York on May 31. He also ran 9.76 in May, and finished ahead of Powell in Saturday’s 100m final at the Jamaican trials at the National Stadium.
As they race towards the Olympics in Beijing next month, Powell, who has been largely inactive this outdoor season following a shoulder surgery about two months ago, has taken note of both, but remains focused on his task.
“They (Bolt and Gay) are running very fast. But that’s not for me to be thinking about right now. It’s really for me to be focused on my own health and to try and get back in good form.”
He added: “They are there, I can’t ignore them, but if you want to win, to go out and think about your opponents is not the right thing to do. I can’t control how the other guys run. I have to at least run my best.”
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