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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2006, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Gatlin no-show frustrates Powell
Asafa Powell and Justin Gatlin
Powell and Gatlin have not raced against each other since 12 May
Asafa Powell says he is ready to take on Justin Gatlin whenever and wherever.

The pair were due to go head-to-head in the 100m at the London Grand Prix in Crystal Palace on 28 July.

However, the American pulled out with a leg injury and the planned showdown between the joint world record holders has now been put on hold - yet again.

"It's getting a little out of hand," Powell, 23, told BBC Five Live Sport. "I'd like to get it over and done with and anytime he's ready, I'm waiting."

Powell said he felt Gatlin was avoiding him after his rival withdrew from the IAAF Super Grand Prix in Athens.

And he is now growing frustrated by a rivalry which is patently lacking in direct competition.

"Since I've been in Europe I've been hearing a bunch of different stories and I don't know which one to believe," Powell added.

"I don't know what has been discussed, but all I know is that I'm ready to run whenever.

"A lot of people are looking forward to it and this can be one of the greatest showdowns the world has ever seen so we just need to make a date and do it."

The Crystal Palace meeting would have been their first race against each other since Gatlin, 24, equalled the world-best mark of 9.77 seconds in May.

Powell has since also crossed the line in 9.77 at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in Gateshead, where Gatlin was scheduled to run, and is adamant he can better that time and give athletics positive publicity in an era when on-track feats are often overshadowed by off-track drugs controversy.

"I'm sure I can go below 9.77. Whatever is humanly possible I'm sure I can do, maybe 9.68 or 9.65," he said.

"We're trying to make this a good and fair sport and that's what I'm doing right now, I hope people can see that and appreciate it.

"A lot of athletes give the sport a bad name and a lot of people are looking down on us now so we just have to make them come back and show them we can run properly."



SEE ALSO
Gatlin sets sights on Powell race
14 Jul 06 |  Athletics
Powell and Jones triumph in Paris
08 Jul 06 |  Athletics
Gatlin is avoiding me says Powell
07 Jul 06 |  Athletics
Gatlin pulls out of Athens meet
02 Jul 06 |  Athletics
Powell equals 100m world record
11 Jun 06 |  Athletics
Gatlin denied outright 100m mark
17 May 06 |  Athletics
Gatlin breaks world 100m record
12 May 06 |  Athletics


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