Asafa: 'If healthy can't lose'

Powell will focus on own race not opponents to take home Beijing gold
Tuesday 30 October 2007

Kingston, Jamaica - Asafa Powell, the World’s fastest man, has issued an early warning to his rivals that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 100 metres gold will definitely be his to take home.

“It’s a real big year (2008) for me,” Powell said. “I will just try my best not to miss any practice sessions. I will just have to pray to God and ask him to keep me healthy.”

Powell, who injured his hamstring at the final meet in Japan, is expected to start training in two weeks time.

Asafa Powell looking the picture of relaxation in his 100m heat in Rieti in which he set the World record of 9.74
(Lorenzo Sampaolo)

“The main aim is to stay healthy, and once I stay healthy, I don’t think anyone can beat me (next season),” explained the Stephen Francis-coached Powell.
Powell, the men’s 100 World record-holder, has promised much in his highly decorated career. He entered the final of the 100m at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, as one of the favourites for gold but finished fifth. He was also one of the two standout names at this year’s World Championship in Osaka, Japan, but finished third behind his fellow protagonist Tyson Gay of the United States and was also defeated by Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas.

The 25-year-old sprinter partially regained some prestige, after misfiring at the World Championships, when he ran 9.74 seconds, a mere few days after the global meet to lower his own World record which stood at 9.77.

Asafa Powell of Jamaica celebrates winning the World Athletics Final
(Getty Images)

“I was really surprised, because I did not know I was running that fast,” he said. "I was very shocked, and this time around it felt a lot easier than the first time.

“I can say that you will see 9.74 erased. I told a lot of people before that than I am going to run 9.77 and I did, and know I am going to do better than 9.74. I want to go 9.6 – that’s the aim.”

He, however, warned his fans not to expect a World record or fast time every time he touches the track, as that is not possible.

[b]“Every time I go on the track, people expect me to break a world record or run very fast,” he lamented while saying “to go out there and think about that is a lot of pressure.”[/B]

"I remembered a time when I ran 9.9 the spectators were like ‘ohh’, as if they were very disappointed.”

Powell, who less than two hours after running 9.74 in the heats of the Rieti Grand Prix Meet, ran 9.78 in the final, also identified another problem he has when it comes to the big occasion.

“But in the future, I would like to focus as less as possible on other athletes; I should focus on my own race. Only in that way should I be able to get my Olympic gold next year,” he said after the World record run.

During the past season, Powell and Gay only met once, a showdown the world was waiting desperately to witness, but it came with a World Championships defeat for Powell, who was determine to get back at his rival before the season end.

However, that did not happen, as in each of the season ending meets, respectively in Shanghai, China (28 Sep) and in Yokohama, Japan (30 Sep), Powell opted for the 200m and Gay the 100m.

Now with 2007 out of this way, Powell reiterated that, “I am ready for any clash at any time, but I don’t know if my competitors are ready.”

Anthony Foster for the IAAF

Such dedication…he’s going to not miss practices now. oooooo ahhhhhh:D

its taken him 4 years to learn not to panick in big races??? lol

I hope its not talk and he fulfills his potential.