TDK Golden League - Powell is “getting better and better” ahead of Rome clash with Gatlin
Monday 4 July 2005
Monte-Carlo - The fastest man in the world, Asafa Powell from Jamaica, was in Padua, Italy, yesterday as a non-competing special guest star of the Città di Padova meeting, which took place just five days before a star-studded 100m at the TDK Golden League meeting in Rome (Borotalco Golden Gala, 8 July) in which he will face Olympic champion Justin Gatlin.

“My shape is getting better and better after my slight injury in the Jamaican Championships in Kingston,” confirmed the World 100m record holder. “I cannot promise a World record in Rome. I love that city because in the Italian capital I spend most of the summer season to prepare for the European season.”

“The key this year is to remain injury-free before the World Championships. My life has changed since the World record.”

“Everyone wants me but I am always the same person. I have already the World record. Now my focus is to win my first World title. After Rome I will compete in London and Stockolm in preparation for the World Championships”, said Powell who arrived in Rome last weekend.

Powell versus Gatlin

Gatlin beat Powell in their most recent encounter which took place in the Grand Prix meeting in Eugene, USA (4 June), when they both ran 9.84 windy (+3.4m/s), with the American given the verdict on the photo-finish.

Since then Gatlin, 23, has had some ‘ups and downs’. He was disqualified and the reinstated, allowing him to secure a memorable 100m (10.08 -2.3m/s) and 200m (20.04 -0.9m/s) double at the USATF Championships (25 / 26 June). His wind legal season’s best is 10.00 (1.0m/s) from the semi-final at those championships.

After Eugene, Powell, 22, went to race in Ostrava at the Super Grand Prix, taking a 9.85 win (+0.6m/s) on 9 June. He recorded 9.98 (1.9m/s) in his semi-final at the Athens Super Grand Prix (14 Jun). A few minutes later he made history running down Tim Montgomery’s World record (9.78 +2m/s) in a time of 9.77 (+1.6 m/s).

Since then he has run three races at his national championships in Kingston, Jamaica - 10.56 +0.9m/s heat on 24 June; 10.31 -2.3m/s Semi on 25 June; 10.04 0.1m/s Final on 25 June - which resulted in a minor injury niggle.

A technical insight to Powell and Gatlin

But how do these two sprint stars compare technically? Here is the analyisis of the fastest wind legal career races of both Powell and Gatlin.

Powell is 1.88m tall and his weight is 87 kg. During his 9.77 second World record race in Athens he made 45.4 strides which means an average frequency of 4.64 Hertz. The wind was + 1.6 and his R.T. (Reaction time) was 0.150 seconds.

If you compare it with the legendary Carl Lewis, who has a similar body mass you will see a big difference because when Lewis ran 9.92 at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988, he made 43.7 strides which means a frequency of 4.4 Hertz.

These athletes are/were using a traditional stride pattern while Tim Montgomery, the former holder of the World record mark, used a very abnormal stride pattern for a man. During his 9.78 he made 49 strides which means a frequency of 5.01 Hertz.

Justin Gatlin is 1.85m tall and weighs 79kg. He is at the opposite extreme to Montgomery. During Gatlin’s Olympic 9.85 second win in Athens, he made 42.2 strides with a frequency of 4.28 Hertz. The R.T. of Gatlin was 0.188 seconds, and the wind was +0.6.

World class line-up

Also in the field for Friday’s 100m race in Rome at the Borotalco Golden Gala are Paris TDK Golden League winner Aziz Zakari (GHA), reigning World champion Kim Collins (SKN), former World and Olympic champion Maurice Greene (USA), Olympic 200m champion Shawn Crawford (USA), World 200m champion John Capel (USA) to name but a few of the star cast.

Chris Turner for the IAAF

With thanks to Elio Locatelli, IAAF Member Services Department Director, and Diego Sampaolo.

I believe Gatlin has an advantage against Asafa, emotionally. Asafa is not so egocentric as Gatlin is.

I dont think so. After that prefontaine race win asafa slowed down to let gatlin win. I now gatlin watched that race later and was like wtf.

Yep, i agree with you on this, btw, i´m trying to figure out yet why Asafa let that happened, i mean, why he let Gatlin took 1st place ?
Oterwise, Gatlin took every important meet almost for the last 2 years, World Indoor Champion, 2004 Olympic, Russia 5 Hundred Thousand Dollars meet…he knows how to manage the “energies” from an important meet.
Asafa is fast but Gatlin seems be a bit confident.