Asafa one win away from world record form, says agent
… Simpson okay for next week’s National Championships
BY KAYON RAYNOR Senior staff reporter email@example.com
Saturday, June 16, 2007
FRESH from yesterday’s 9.94 seconds - his second sub-10-second 100-metre race of the season - the first Golden League meet in Oslo, Norway, Asafa Powell’s agent Paul Doyle believes the Jamaican is one win away from world -record pace.
Asafa Powell of Jamaica wins the 100m event for men at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, yesterday. (Photo: AP)
“To run that good this early in the season is very promising,” Doyle told Sporting World, moments after the world 100 metres record holder turned in his 27th sub-10-second race of his career, tying with Namibia’s Frank Fredricks for fourth on the all-time list.
Only American Maurice Green with 52 and Ato Boldon 28, of Trinidad and Tobago are ahead.
“I think he’s ahead of where he was last year at this time and looks to be just another race from world-record form,” Doyle reasoned, noting further: “He felt really good with a .9 wind and the weather conditions here (in Oslo).”
Powell, whose 2007 outdoor debut was postponed a few times because of tendonitis in his knee, twice equalled his world record of 9.77secs last season - Gateshead, England on June 11 and Zurich, Switzerland on August 18.
The powerfully built athlete, who is trained by respected sprint coach Stephen Francis, first established the world record on June 14, 2005 in Athens, Greece, on the same track which he finished fifth in the Olympic final the previous year.
Powell’s major threat for the gold medal at this summer’s 11th World Championships on Osaka, Japan, is expected to come from American Tyson Gay, who has run 9.79 and 9.76 - both wind-aided (wind above +2.0 m/s allowed under IAAF rules).
Quizzed about the possible first meeting date between both athletes, Doyle said that it is a little unsure. “Obviously, Tyson has his (USA) national championships coming up (June 20-24), Asafa is going to deal with Paris and Rome as his first races after the (Jamaica) national trials (June 22-24) and from what we understand Tyson Gay will not be at those two races. So it’s looking like the first possible match-up would be sometime after July 15,” Doyle explained.
Meanwhile, Doyle sought to allay fears that world number one female sprinter Sherone Simpson would be missing next week’s national champions in Kingston, after she seemed to have hurt herself while clocking 11.64 to finish eighth in Oslo yesterday. Another Jamaican, Sheri-Ann Brooks, was second in 11.23 behind winner Stephanie Durst of America, 11.22.
“Well, she (Sherone) was running fine until about 60 metres when she felt she hip tighten up. This is the same problem for which she has had to pull out of the last few meets, but she did not injure herself, which is the good thing… she just felt it tighten up and decided to ease down and not take any chances,” Doyle said, adding: "We all suspect that she’ll be fine for next week at the National Championships and hopefully back in top form.
Sporting World was also told that Michael Frater, who has a similar problem to that of Simpson, withdrew from the men’s race as he did not want to chance aggravating it with the national championships coming up.