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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 September 2007, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Powell smashes 100m world record
Asafa Powell
Powell was back to his best after his Osaka disappointment
Jamaican Asafa Powell broke the world 100m record by clocking 9.74 secs at the IAAF Grand Prix in Rieti, Italy.

Powell, bronze medallist at the recent World Championships, set the new record in the second of two heats.

The race was run with a strong following wind but it was within the limits set by athletics's governing body, the IAAF.

"That's what happens when I start to listen to the coach," said Powell, who later won the Rieti final in 9.78.

606: COMMENT
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"It's just to remind my fans that Asafa Powell is still here. I came here and executed properly and did what I was supposed to do.

"I love this track - it's very bouncy. Italy is a good place for me. It's my second home."

Fellow Jamaican Michael Frater came second in the final in 10.03 ahead of Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure in third place with 10.10.

Powell, who has been troubled by a groin and knee injuries this summer, first set the previous record of 9.77 in Athens in June 2005 and last year equalled it on two occasions in Gateshead and Zurich.

His latest achievement will help erase the disappointment of Osaka two weeks ago when he faded after a fast start in the World Championships final and finished third behind Tyson Gay and Derrick Atkins in a time of 9.96.

"It's a big day, a big redemption for him," Powell's agent Paul Doyle told the BBC.

100m RECORD EVOLUTION
9.74 A Powell, Rieti 2007
9.77 A Powell, Athens 2005
9.79 M Greene, Athens 1999
9.84 D Bailey, Atlanta 1996
9.85 L Burrell, Lausanne 1994
9.86 C Lewis, Tokyo 1991
9.90 L Burrell, New York 1991
9.92 C Lewis, Seoul 1988
9.93 C Smith, Colorado 1983
9.95 J Hines, Mexico 1968

"Both the coach and I were very surprised he was able to come out and do this today as he had heavy legs from training actually, but the conditions here were perfect, the track is fast, the wind was right, the temperature was right - everything just fell into place."

The athletics world will now be eagerly anticipating a re-match between Powell and Gay, which could happen at the Golden League meeting in Brussels on 14 September.

"They are both down to compete, but whether it is in the same race, I don't yet know," said Wilfried Meert, organiser of the event at the Ivo Van Damme track.

Doyle, however, said he expected Gay to stick to the 200m.

"I don't think he has much motivation to race Asafa [again], especially now. I think it's something that most likely we're going to have to look forward to seeing next year.

"I think Tyson wants to savour his victory from the World Championships and make that last. He knows if he goes up against Asafa and loses, he knocks himself down a notch."



SEE ALSO
Powell admits to conceding silver
27 Aug 07 |  Athletics
Gay storms to world 100m victory
26 Aug 07 |  Athletics
Powell & Richards win top awards
12 Nov 06 |  Athletics
Powell equals 100m world record
18 Aug 06 |  Athletics


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