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Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 18:19 UK

British sprinters lazy - Powell

LONDON GRAND PRIX
Venue: Crystal Palace, London Dates: 24-25 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and BBC Sport website (UK only)
Friday 1800-2030 BST on BBC Two, and Saturday 1415-1730 on BBC One; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live;
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British sprinters are lazy - Powell

Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell says the reason British sprinters are not challenging on the track is because they are lazy.

Powell, who is due to race in the 100m at the London Grand Prix on Friday, believes athletes in his native Jamaica have a greater desire to succeed.

"I've said over the years that British sprinters are very lazy and don't really want to practise," he said.

"Maybe it's comfort. In Jamaica, you have to work harder for what you want."

Commonwealth 100m champion Powell, 26, hails from Spanish Town, Jamaica and believes the economic hardship experienced there instils budding athletes with a determination to succeed that is lacking in their British counterparts.

"We have a different mindset," he said. "You have to make a living out of it because you don't get a living from anywhere else.

The ankle is in shape to go 9.7 but I'm not sure it's in shape to go below that

Asafa Powell

"You have to go out there and make something of yourself."

Britain's main hope in the 100m at Crystal Palace is 23-year-old Simeon Williamson, who comfortably beat Dwain Chambers in the UK trials with a time of 10.05 seconds.

However, this is some way off the time needed to challenge the top athletes in the event, including Powell, and the Jamaican says Williamson must be prepared to put the effort in to earn the rewards.

"Simeon came to Jamaica and from what I observed he is a bit lazy," said Powell.

"He did well though and he made a lot of improvements and if he puts in the effort and the hard work there is a lot more to come."

Powell will face off against Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt on Friday in an eagerly anticipated 100m contest.

Bolt took world athletics by storm at the Beijing Olympics last year, winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, setting new world records in each event, and will start Friday's race as favourite.

However, Powell - who has been suffering from an ankle injury - is unbeaten over the distance at Crystal Palace having run under 10 seconds in his previous three races at the venue and is predicting a spectacle.

"I'm sure a lot of people are looking forward to it," he said. "I'm excited to see what kind of shape I'm in right now. I feel in pretty good shape."

606: DEBATE
quietmind

"The ankle is in shape to go 9.7 (seconds) but I'm not sure it's in shape to go below that.

"I'm in better shape than I thought I was, and maybe some of the other guys will go below 9.7 so we will wait and see."

One sprinter who will not be competing in the 100m is American triple world champion Tyson Gay, who has a persistent groin strain and decided to concentrate on the 200m.

However, Powell feels having himself, Bolt and Gay on the scene is extremely beneficial to the sport.

"At first there was really only me, and then Tyson came on board and now we have three guys who are capable of running below 9.8 seconds," he said. "It's fantastic and it has done a lot for the sport.

"Having three guys like that out there, the world record is likely to get broken."



see also
Powell insists Bolt is beatable
23 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Williamson gunning for big stage
23 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Bolt cruises to emphatic 100m win
17 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Superstar Bolt in dazzling form
18 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Bolt to take on Powell in London
15 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Bolt storms to stunning victory
07 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Gay ready to challenge Bolt mark
26 Jun 09 |  Athletics
Powell joins Bolt on injury list
02 May 09 |  Athletics
Powell clocks second fastest 100m
02 Sep 08 |  Athletics


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