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Page last updated at 19:44 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 20:44 UK

Powell clocks second fastest 100m

Asafa Powell
Powell could only finish fifth in the Olympic 100m final

Jamaica's Asafa Powell ran the second fastest 100m in history at the Athletissima Grand Prix on Tuesday.

Powell clocked 9.72 seconds to equal the old world record set by compatriot Usain Bolt in New York last May.

Bolt, who won the 200m in Lausanne in a time of 19.63, set the 100m world record of 9.69 in Beijing last month.

The 25-year-old Powell, who held the world record between June 2005 and May 2008 with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds, finished fifth in Beijing.

On Monday, Powell said Bolt's thrilling run at the Olympics has inspired him to target a time of 9.59.

"Two years ago I said to myself I could go 9.65 or faster but based on how Usain is running it's my aim now to go below 9.6," said Powell.

Who knows? Maybe I'm not the guy for those big championships?

Asafa Powell
"Usain can obviously run very fast but I'm not going to put him out of my reach."

The 21-year-old Bolt stunned the sporting world two weeks ago when he knocked 0.03 seconds off his own previous mark of 9.72 despite easing up to celebrate before he crossed the line.

"I'd say in the Olympic 100m it looked like Usain could have run 9.63, 9.65 maybe," said Powell.

"I was shocked to see what he did in the race, it was ridiculous.

"I can't imagine the times he's capable of running at the moment. He's the man to beat right now but before it was me and if I can break another world record then I'll be the one back in the spotlight."

Powell, who also finished fifth at the 2004 Athens Olympics despite going into the Games as favourite, said he had not written off his hopes of winning an individual gold.

606: DEBATE
"The 2012 London Games will be my last opportunity and Beijing was certainly my best chance but you never give up," he said.

"I've got no idea why I'm always winning on the circuit but then finishing fifth at the Olympics. Maybe if it was just a one-off race without the qualifying rounds I would have done better.

"Who knows? Maybe I'm not the guy for those big championships but just the guy to compete in the Grand Prix and Golden League meetings. It's just unfortunate."


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see also
Bolt surges to gold in new record
16 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
27 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Contact TV team
08 Apr 08 |  Athletics


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