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London 100m for powell

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Asafa Powell


16 July 2009

COMMONWEALTH 100m champion Asafa Powell has confirmed that he will run the 100m at the Aviva London Grand Prix on July 24, in what is sure to be one of the highlights of the Aviva London Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old is unbeaten over the distance at Crystal Palace, crossing the line on three previous occasions well under the ten second barrier.

This year the race will prove to be a far tougher test as Powell lines up against several of the world’s leading sprinters, including his compatriot, triple Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Usain Bolt.

Powell and Bolt were part of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay quartet that shattered the world record on their way to claiming gold in Beijing - but on this occasion both will be looking to gain the vital edge over one another ahead of this year’s Berlin IAAF World Championships.

The last time Bolt was beaten on the track was by Powell in Stockholm last July.

Powell’s pedigree as one of the world’s leading sprinters over the last seven years is in no doubt – the former 100m world record holder also won 100m bronze at the World Championships two years ago. He is now only one sub-ten second performance away from eclipsing the most ever recorded efforts of 52 by USA’s Maurice Greene.

Arguably the world’s leading nation in sprinting, Jamaica will also be represented in the 100m by Yohan Blake. A big future is predicted for the 19-year-old, who won World Junior bronze three years ago and is also trained by Bolt’s coach Glenn Mills.

Away from the men’s 100m event Jamaica will be further represented by Olympic 400m hurdles champion Melaine Walker and 400m Jamaican champion Novlene Williams-Mills.

Williams-Mills will face Britain’s gold and silver medallists from the World Championships two years ago, Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders.  Williams-Mills took bronze behind the two Britons in Osaka so a chance for revenge is something she is clearly looking forward to:

Williams-Mills said: “I’m looking forward to that race because it’s where a lot of my competitors will be ahead of Berlin.

“When I walk away from that race in London I want people to be talking about me. I want them to be thinking ‘okay, this is where Williams-Mills is at and in order for me to beat her in Berlin I may have to run a certain time’.

“It will be good for me to run in front of so many Jamaican’s as well. I am always happy when they come out to cheer for us because no matter where we are in the world there are always some Jamaicans there.”

Aviva London Grand Prix meet director Ian Stewart believes that outside of the World Championships in Berlin there will be no better athletics occasion this year.

He said: “This year we have not only managed to secure many of the fastest athletes from Jamaica and USA, two countries with a unrivalled sprinting heritage, but we will see world class clashes when Bolt meets Powell in the 100m and Gay faces Bolt in the relay.

“As well as a very strong woman’s 100m and 400m the Aviva London Grand Prix will witness world class sprint times ahead of Berlin.”

Tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace, London on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th July are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk