Asafa: Worst Start Yields 9.95 =WL'06

Powell’s ‘worst ever start’ nets 9.95, while Richards goes sub-50
Sunday 7 May 2006
Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaica’s World 100m record holder Asafa Powell and USA’s World 400m silver medallist Sanya Richards were the headliners of the third annual Jamaica International Invitational which was held in Kingston yesterday (6 May).

>>editor’s note - more photos to follow later<<

All week in the lead-in to this meeting the simple question being asked around the streets of Kingston was, “How fast can Asafa run?”

The answer is, pretty fast.

In the past two weekends, Powell has shut down the jets early in winning his races. Last night, he couldn’t.

The world-record holder at 100 metres overcame a start that he characterised “the worst of my life,” and exploded at the 50-metre mark to score a convincing victory in 9.95 seconds over Marc Burns (TRI), who finished runner-up in 10.22.

“I wanted to give the Jamaican people a good performance tonight,” said Powell, adding, “I’m not worried about anything. I’m just running.”

Powell’s big win which matched Justin Gatlin’s world season lead set in Osaka earlier on the same day (6 May) highlighted a night of fine sprinting on a warm evening.

‘Bolting’ to a meet record

Another popular winner was Usain Bolt, who edged American Tyson Gay in the 200-metre dash, 20.10 to 20.12.

Gay’s plan was to run a hard curve, perhaps to put pressure on Bolt. But the big lead never materialised, and instead Bolt edged past in the final metres, and broke his own meet record. But his time was slower than his current season’s lead of 20.08 set on 29 April.

“He was stronger than I was,” said Gay, “and in the last ten metres, I broke.”

Richards goes sub-50

Yet even more remarkable than Bolt’s performance was that of women’s World 400m silver medallist Sanya Richards, who returned to her birthplace to score a convincing win, setting a meet record of 49.89 in her specialty.

“I wanted to run the first `100, make the others work the backstretch, and then push,” said Richards, who followed her plan to perfection. The time was a world season’s lead.

In second was fellow American Monique Henderson, who clocked 50.83.

Simpson beats Campbell again

Jamaican heroine Sherone Simpson handed another defeat on Olympic champion Veronica Campbell (22.51) in the women’s 200m, setting a meet record of 22.14, in the process of taking a solid victory. Simpson had previously got the better of her more illustrious compatriot to win the Commonwealth title in March.

In the women’s 100m, Olympic 200m bronze medallist Debbie Ferguson of the Bahamas edged American Muna Lee, 11.28 to 11.32, with Sheri-Ann Brooks (JAM) third in 11.37.

Exciting hurdle contests

The sprint hurdle races were exciting. In the women’s 100mH, Brigitte Foster Hylton overcame an average start to beat American Damu Cherry, 12.69 to 12.78, while in the men’s 110mH, four American athletes came home within .09 seconds. Joel Brown was pushed to the limit by David Payne, with Robby Hughes just behind. Brown won in 13.30, a meet record.

In the men’s 400m Hurdles, American Kerron Clement, “needing to work on my last 150,” ran away from Dean Griffiths 48.95 to 49.28, with Danny McFarlane third in 49.35.

USA’s Lashinda Demus expressed disappointment with her run in the women’s 400m Hurdles win, saying, “I wanted to run in the 53.’s tonight.” But a poor first hurdle killed any chances of a super early-season performance, and Demus settled for a 54.20 win over Allison Beckford, who ran 56.19.

Merritt from Rock in 400m

In the men’s flat 400m, a fast-starting LeShawn Merritt had to hold off a fast-closing Andrew Rock, with the two Americans running 44.67 and 44.89, respectively. But despite his late attack, Rock could himself barely held off Germaine Gonzales, who ran 44.90.

Kenyan Justus Koech triumphed in the men’s 800m, following American Jonathon Johnson, and then holding off another American, Derrick Peterson, 1:47.39 to 1:47.51.

In the women’s 2 laps, Jamaican champion Kenia Sinclair set a meet record, and held off a big stretch drive by American Hazel Clark to win the women’s 800, 2:00.02 to 2:00.24.

The men’s 1500 metre run was tactical until the final 300 metres, when three runners broke free from a large pack. Kenyan Geoffrey Rono utilized a sustained sprint to outlast American Said Ahmed in a meet record 3:40.98. Ahmed ran 3:41.32, with another Kenyan, Bernard Kiptum third in 3:41.56.

14.32m meet record for Smith

In the Triple Jump, the only field event on the programme, Jamaican World champion Trecia Smith jumped a meet record of 14.34m to beat Yamile Aldama of Sudan, who jumped 14.22.

George Kochman for the IAAF



100 metres (A RACE): 1. Asafa Powell (JAM) 9.95; 2. Marc Burns (TRI) 10.22; 3. Ainsley Waugh (JAM) 10.31.

100 metres (B RACE): 1. Nester Carter (JAM) 10.41; 2. Orlando Morgan (JAM) 10.44; 3. Mario Forsytte (JAM) 10.49.

200 metres: 1. Usain Bolt (JAM) 20.10 (meet record); 2. Tyson Gay (USA) 20.12; 3. Aaron Armstrong (TRI) 20.53.

400 metres: LaShawn Merrittt (USA) 44.67; 2. Andrew Rock (USA) 44.89; 3. Germaine Gonzales (JAM) 44.90.

800 metres: 1. Justus Koech (KEN) 1:47.39; 2. Derrick Peterson (USA) 1:47.51; 3. Jonathon Johnson (USA) 1:48.89.

1500 metres: 1. Geoffrey Rono (KEN) 3:40.98 (meet record); 2. Siad Ahmed (USA) 3:41.32; 3. Bernard Kiptum (KEN) 3:41.56.

110 metres Hurdles: 1. Joel Brown (USA) 13.30 (meet record); 2. David Payne (USA) 13.31; 3. Robby Hughes (USA) 13.34.

400 metres Hurdles: 1. Kerron Clement (USA) 48.95; 2. Dean Griffiths (JAM) 49.28; 3. Danny McFarlane (JAM) 49.35.

HS Boys 4x100m: 1. Camperdown 40.41 (meet record); 2. Kingston College 40.70; 3. Calabar 40.98.

HS Boys 4x400m: 1. Kingston College 3:11.61 (meet record); 2. Calabar 3:14.84; 3. Claude McKay High 3:15.31.


100 metres: 1. Debbie Ferguson (BAH) 11.28; 2. Muna Lee (USA) 11.32; 3. Sheri-Ann Brooks (JAM) 11.37.

200 metres: 1. Sherone Simpson (JAM) 22.14 (meet record); 2. Veronica Campbell (JAM) 22.51; 3. Muna Lee (USA) 22.77.

400 metres: 1. Sanya Richards (USA) 49.89 (meet record); 2. Monique Henderson (USA) 50.83; 3. Novlene Williams (JAM) 51.04.

800 metres: 1. Kenia Sinclair (JAM) 2:00.02 (meet record); 2. Hazel Clark (USA) 2:00.24; 3. Treniere Clement (USA) 2:01.77.

100m Hurdles: 1. Brigitte Foster Hylton (JAM) 12.69; 2. Damu Cherry (USA) 12.78; 3. Delloreen Ennis-London (JAM) 12.90.

400m Hurdles: 1. Lashinda Demus (USA) 54.20; 2. Allison Beckford (JAM) 56.19; 3. Kaliese Spencer (JAM) 56.71.

Triple Jump: 1. Trecia Smith (JAM) 14.34 (meet record); 2. Yamile Aldama (SUD) 14.22; 3. Candice Baucham (USA) 12.96.

HS Girls 4x100m: 1. Holmwood Tech 44.49 (meet record); 2. Edwin Allen 45.64; 3. Manchester 45.70.

HS Girls 4x400m: 1. Holmwood Tech 3:38.20; 2. Edwin Allen 3:38.27; 3. Manchester 3:44.07.

World record-holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica (centre) sprints to victory in the men’s 100 metres at the National Stadium last night. At right is second-placed Marc Burns while Dwight Thomas is at left.

he is so impressive !

I think he can go sub .75 this year!

JAMAICA’S 100M World Record holder, Asafa Powell, led three world-leading marks established at Saturday night’s third staging of the Jamaica International Invitational track and field athletics meeting at the National Stadium.

Powell, who holds the World Record of 9.77 seconds, set on June 14 last season, equalled Olympic and world champion Justin Gatlin’s 9.95, set in Japan earlier on Saturday while his clubmate Sherone Simpson and Jamaican-born Sanya Richards who now runs for the United States, also secured world-leading times.

In the men’s 100m, Powell recovered from a poor start to win in 9.95 seconds. Though he had to :eek: run from behind for the first 30 metres, Powell took charge of the field. By the time Powell got out of his drive phase, he had Trinidad and Tobago’s Marc Burns, who got a very good start, covered.

“It was a good race. It means a lot to me to really run this time (9.95) today,” said Powell.

The Jamaican blamed his poor start and the starter for not recording a faster time.

"I wanted to run faster, but the :rolleyes: starter held us too long and it threw me off a lot.

“I came here to give Jamaica a good performance, but it wasn’t what I expected, because the starter held us really long and that threw me off,” he repeated.

“It was the worst start I have ever got in my life so far,” added Powell, whose next race will be in :slight_smile: Santo Domingo this coming weekend.


Powell said his first sub-10 second clocking this season is not to send any message, but says that he is ready anytime to face Gatlin.

“When we both meet, we’ll see what happens. I am always looking forward to meet him (Gatlin),” added Powell.

Asked if he was sending a statement to Gatlin, Powell responded by saying: :slight_smile: "Well, this is how I make my statement, on the track and not with my mouth.

“Right now, I am just looking forward to run really fast, that’s my aim right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Simpson ran a very smart race to continue her early outdoor season dominance over Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell, to win the women’s 200. Drawn in lane five, and with Campbell behind her, Simpson went out like a shot from a gun and when she straightened the field was left for dead.

In repeating her Commonwealth Games success, her first victory over Campbell, Simpson, who led from start to finish, won in a personal best 22.14 seconds.

Campbell (22.51) and American Muna Lee (22.77), finished behind Simpson, who also broke the meet record of 22.53, set by Campbell last year.

Simpson was elated at her performance.


“I was placed in front of Veronica so I knew I had to run the corner very well, I think I did 22.14 … pretty satisfied,” she said.

In the women’s 400m, American World Championships silver medallist Richards won easily in a world leading and meet record 49.89 ahead of her teammate Monique Richards (50.83) and Jamaican Novlene Williams (51.04).

Richards, who attended Vaz Prep and Immaculate High before finishing High school in Florida, said it was a good race.

“I wanted to go out fast and I did. Christine Amertil (51.44 - fifth) and Novlene Williams ran great races, Monique Henderson as well, so I just wanted to win and I did,” Richards explained.

In the men’s event, Americans Lashaun Merritt (44.67) and Andrew Rock (44.89) repeated their top two positions from last year, but it was the last 50m run by Jermaine Gonzales who eventually placed third in a career-best 44.90, that gave the crowd something to cheer about.

Gonzales, who started out slow, ran gallantly in the last 50m to pick up third.

“I went out slow but I knew my finish was strong, so I just finished with all my strength. I am happy for the result, it’s my personal best, what more can I ask for,” an elated Gonzales said.

The World Junior bronze medallist, who blasted from almost the back of the pack with his late surge, said he and his coach (Fitz Coleman) have a good understanding, and “the programme (he’s on) could not be any better right now,” said Gonzales, who will run in Mexico this weekend.


The men’s event provided the most stirring finish, going to hometown favourtie Bolt in 20.10 seconds over American Tyson Gay (20.12 ). Both athletes came off the corner side by side, from which stage it was clear that it was going down to the wire.

They fought a lively duel throughout the stretch and Bolt went into overdrive after trailing by about a metre near 30 metres from the finish,to catch the American and celebrate victory with his trademark bow at the line, while looking into Gay’s face.

“I was kind of little nervous because of Tyson Gay and I didn’t run my race. But I won and I think I did pretty well, I didn’t tie-up too much so I think I am on the way right now,” admitted the World Junior Record holder who was recording his third straight victory at this meet.

He added: “I know I’m better on the straight so all I expected to do was come close to him on the straight and I knew I would get him.”

In what was expected to be the closest race, Jamaica’s Commonwealth Games champion Brigitte Foster blew away the field to win the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.69, finishing ahead of American Damu Cherry (12.79) and Delloreen Ennis-London (12.90).

The United States’ Joel Brown won the men’s 110m hurdles in a meet record 13.30 ahead of his teammate David Payne ( 13.31).

As expected, the fast improving Kenia Sinclair captured the women’s 800m in 2:00.02 seconds, a new meet record, beating Americans Hazel Clarke (2:00.24) and Treniece Clement (2:01.77).

Sinclair was pleased with her time despite running slower than the 1:58.16 (national record) she established with a silver medal run at Commonwealth Games in Melbourne last month.

“I knew I could go faster, I just wanted to run as relaxed as I can, not to fight or anything because it’s early season,” Sinclair explained. "I just came out here to have fun and make Jamaica proud.

She said her main focus now is to run 1 minute 56 seconds.

“… I just want to focus on my goal and that is to run 1:56. If I run 1:56 I know I will be one of the top 800m runners in the world,” she added.

In the High school events, Holmwood 44.49 (meet record) and 3:38.20 beat Edwin Allen (45.64) and (3:38.27) in the sprint and mile relays respectively, while Camperdown ( 40.41, meet record) beat Kingston College (40.70) for the boys’ 4x100m title, while KC (3:11.61) took the mile relay ahead of Calabar.