GATLIN gunning for POWELL

Gatlin gunning for Powell
From Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina
April 12, 2006

OLYMPIC and world champion Justin Gatlin said today he believed his mental and physical toughness made him a better sprinter than Jamaican world record holder Asafa Powell.

“Mentally and physically I am the best sprinter,” Gatlin told a teleconference to promote his 100m appearance in New York’s Reebok Grand Prix on June 3.

“I know when to show up. I know how to run technically sound,” the 24-year-old American said.

“I would not call him a choke artist,” Gatlin said of Powell, "but I feel he has a lot to learn with big competitions.

“When big competitions show up, that proves who is the best.”

Gatlin proved he was best at the 2004 Olympics and 2005 world championships, sweeping 100m gold in both before adding the 200m world title in Helsinki last August.

But Powell, fifth in the Olympics, staked his claim to being the best with a world-record run of 9.77sec last June in Athens.

His absence from the world championship through injury only stoked the rivalry’s fire, especially after Powell said he would have won the race had he been competing.

:cool: “I was watching Ali the movie the other night, and it kind of reminded me of me and Asafa,” Gatlin said.

“It’s like a heavyweight battle … and you can’t have a heavyweight battle without two contenders and I think :eek: me and Asafa can make the best rivalry there’s ever been in track and field.” [BEN V CARL WILL TAKE SOME BEATING!] :wink:

But any meeting this year may be months away as the two rivals’ managers sort out their schedules.

Powell, who lost twice to Gatlin during an injury plagued 2005 season, showed his fitness by claiming the Commonwealth Games 100m in 10.03sec last month in Melbourne.

Gatlin will run his first 100m in Osaka, Japan, in May.

“Times are very important (this year) because there are no championships,” Gatlin said.

He already has one in mind in the 100m - 9.75sec, 0.02sec faster than Powell’s world record.

“I think a lot of people have a mental block about the world record,” Gatlin said.

“But watching Asafa … if he can do it, I can do it as well, and I can do it even a little better.”

Agence France-Presse


Who’s the champ though?

Back then it was all smiles :rolleyes:

gotta love asafa’s grin though.

Personally I think sprinting aint what it used to be, with asafa and gatlin being so gracious and all.

I loved the days of carl vs ben, the shit talking donovan bailey and the over confident maurice greene and his swagger.

Can you picture heavyweight boxing with out trash talking? Because thats sort of what sprinting is becoming…

if you all notice its the american whos talking the S***.nothing has changed with the americans talk talk talk.powell is just sitting back and keeping his mouth shut.

i think we should all get together to save a few $$ for dypers just to put over Gatlins mouth…at least it will stop the S*** talking.

sorry about the post guys but the talking is hilarious

Lol, interesting you say that but why do you think Gatlin of all americans talks shit? Gatlin is a very humble winner.

Now if it were greene thats a different story…hype sells btw :smiley:

Yeah, actually spoke with Gatlin minutes after he won in Athens and he was attentive, modest, polite, witty and astute. More than that what could you ask. I was tremendously impressed with him. I think, from that brief encounter, he has everything the sport needs in a public relations frontman. I hope he breaks the 100WR - and then we’ll see some action with mighty Asafa, who is an even more chilled out guy. I was so impressed with Powell after the way he handled his shocking disqualification in Paris 2003. While Drummond was carrying on like an imbecile, Asafa packed up his gear and quietly departed to regroup - and boy did he regroup.

Both are nice guys and fantastic athletes. Gatlin is right when he says that he is better physically than Powell in term of max strength and special endurance. BUT between these 2 ends, Powell is better and that’s what 100m is about. Melbourne is not enough to prove that Powell can cope mentally with a major champ. Also it seems to me that Powell didn’t have fun (sorry, maybe i red too much Pittman articles!). As i see it, Galtin’s 9.89 in Helsinki (slow track, bad weather conditions, mutliple rounds) is not far to worth 9.77 (fastest track, good wind, meeting no opposition). So everything is possible. May both stay healthy and provide great GP races this year.

Great race, but people ran faster in Helsinki already - Asafas 9.85 in Ostrava in June was the most impressive performance I’ve ever seen - if you asked me before the race I would have bet all my money it is impossible to run sub 10 under such circumstances.
Very cold, rainy, wet track and Ostrava is a track where nobody ran even close to 10 secs ever …
From that moment on it was clear he would run WR.

As for possible improvement it seems like Gatlin is closer to his limits than Asafa. Asafa reminds me more of Ben before his peak (if it is alowed to compare the two). He’s got a lot left to improve about the later parts of the race.
He is just incredible strong and talented.

When Gatlin gives his last Asafa is still relaxed.

If Gatlin wins it’s with words, psychologically.

9.85 in Ostrava is surely one of the greatest along with 9.86 in Lausanne’96 (head wind) by Fredericks who should have smashed the then-9.85 WR if he had not stop running before the finish line.

AP and JG are so kind boys that i just don’t believe all their trash talking. That may be their manager’s idea in order to make the show. Even Ato Boldon was complaining about the lack of acid tongue in his website.

whoa i can hardily contain myself the trash talking is too much.

Justin Gatlin, i don’t think he is trash talking. He is just telling people how it is. He is the man, and has been the man for the past two years.

Olympic Champion

World Champion

Asafa Powell has won a title great welldone, the commonwealths was not about times, or breaking world records. It was about Asafa Powell showing people that he can win a title.

I like Powell, but i have said this before. There use to be a time when everyone knew who the fastest man in the world was. Theres the Heavyweight Champion, and the Fastest Man in the world.

Carl Lewis
Donovan Bailey
Maurice Greene

Powell has not got that aura about him yet.
Because he hasn’t back it up yet. He’s ran fast times in Grand Prix’s, but in this sport your defined by medals, and championships.

I hope this season is good, both athletes are injury free, Athletes are injury free.

Shawn Crawford
Maurice Greene
Francis Obikwelu

We need these Heavyweights to go head to head week in week out.

we need this hype, the excitement.

The Return of Dwain Chambers, whats Maurice Greene gonna do, why is he still here.

Can Kim Collins competed with these sprinters.

This is the anticipation, hype we need in every race, every build up.


wait some years - Powell will become THE SPRINTER of his time and Gatlin will be something like Carl Lewis when Ben was at the top

Fully agree - thats exactly what I expect (except for the case that some terrible circumstances stop Asafa’s career).

Gatlin delivered the times when it counted (OG and WC), but the best sprinter when it comes to times was Powell.
Take all times 9.95 and faster season 05 and 06 (dramatic difference in favor of Powell - especially if you look at the tendency - up to the point where he was injured…):

9.77 1.6 Asafa Powell 1 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 14 06 2005
9.84 1.8 Asafa Powell 1 Kingston, JAM 07 05 2005
9.85 0.6 Asafa Powell 1r1 Ostrava 09 06 2005
9.87 0.2 Asafa Powell 1 Bruxelles 03 09 2004
9.91 -0.1 Asafa Powell 1 Kingston, JAM 27 06 2004
9.91 -0.3 Asafa Powell 1 London (CP) 30 07 2004
9.93 -0.5 Asafa Powell 1r1 Zürich 06 08 2004
9.94 0.6 Asafa Powell 5 Athína 22 08 2004
9.95 0.2 Asafa Powell 1sf2 Athína 22 08 2004

9.85 0.6 Justin Gatlin 10 02 1982 1 Athína 22 08 2004
9.88 0.4 Justin Gatlin 1 Helsinki 07 08 2005
9.89 1.0 Justin Gatlin 1 London (CP) 22 07 2005
9.92 0.0 Justin Gatlin 2 Sacramento, CA 11 07 2004

are people underestimating Gatlin. I mean Asafa Powell is not unbeatible, i still say this.

Its the first half of the race where he will damage Justin Gatlin. A 2005 Justin Gatlin that is, because he was running a Donovan Bailey. Carl Lewis Type of race.

It was not complete, i think Justin Gatlin can beat Powell of the last 40m. He needs to bring the first half of the race up to standard with the last.

The mental edge i think Justin Gatlin has it, he is growing in confidence,seems like he is really enjoying himself. Talking of world records, racing, and trying to get other athletes to train with him MLF, and Harry Aikines.

Powell well i don’t know.

I agree with cool, gatlin does to much of this come from behind shit too often. He needs a consistant start.

Have some more faith in gatlin.

Also when looking at times you have to consider the conditions.

The 9.77 asafa ran in athens was always going to be fast. Fast atlanta track, wind behind him nice day.

Asafa’s 9.77 wind corrected is 9.85
Gatlins 9.85 wind corrected is 9.88

Not much difference now huh?

Also of interesting note, I think there races in Ostrava and Helsinki could have been much faster in better conditions.

That still leaves Asafa with 9 sub 9.95 runs in 1 1/2 seasons and a curve with constantly dropping times and Gatlin with “only” 2 sub 9.95 runs each of the two seasons and no real improvement from 04 to 05.

Enough was said about wind readings on this board, too.

Personally I could not take Mo’s critizing Monty’s 9.78 for the 2.0 wid support. Mo simply never ran is best times with tailwind - maybe for completely different reasons, I do not believe he was simply unlucky to never get a good tailwind in all his 50+ sub 10 runs. (He himself believed not to benefit from a tailwind, on the opposite, that it could destroy his sprint mechanics.) But that’s a completely different story.

But it does not matter what we belive - I’ll stop now, time will tell and words in a forum won’t change the result of a single race.

Let’s hope the best for the two of them, might both reach their limits healty and show us great races. :wink:

yeah, maybe Gatlin is mentally a little bit stronger, bc he seems to be more confident and he uses trash talking a little bit more offensive.
BUT: i believe that Asafa has also a greater top end speed then Gatlin, who’s race isnt complete yet.
but i think Asafa’s race also isnt complete yet and if he learns to match big champs, he will run faster then his WR(set in June)

Gatlin is The Man. He’s the one with the important victories under his belt. He came up big when it really really counted. He’s the better sprinter.

That being said, Asafa Powell is just incredible. His acceleration isn’t human. Even watching him breeze through the early rounds of the commonwealth games was a treat.

This is a good rivalry, hopefully the press will cover it more and get T&F in the news.

yes, but Asafa’s top speed isnt human either…
But i agree with the press stuff :smiley: