Powell & MVP to Australia

Monday, 02 February 2009 Powell set for Sydney and Melbourne meets

Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, who has set or equalled the 100m World record four times, will compete in the Sydney Track Classic on 28 February his club president said in Kingston yesterday (1).

The Jamaican flyer will also compete in Australia’s premier athletics meet, in Melbourne on 5 March.

The ‘World Athletics Tour Melbourne’, is an IAAF Grand Prix status meet within the 25 meetings of 2009 IAAF World Athletics Tour, while the ‘Sydney Classic’ is one of a select group of Area meetings at which points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on 12-13 September in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Still history’s second fastest man with his best time last year of 9.72sec, behind only Jamaican countryman Usain Bolt’s Olympic gold medal run of 9.69, Powell will be joined in Australia by nine of his MVP club training partners.

One of those will be the Olympic women’s 400m Hurdles gold medallist and record holder Melaine Walker. It is not known whether she will line up against Sydney’s two-time World 400m Hurdles champion Jana Rawlinson who plans to begin her world title defence at the sensational Sydney Track Classic at Homebush.

Olympic 400m silver medallist Shericka Williams, 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton and Nadia Cunningham are the other women making the trip.

Foster-Hylton is likely to resume her rivalry with Sally McLellan, the Olympic 100m Hurdles silver medallist, who fell at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Accompanying Powell will be fellow members of the Olympic gold medal-winning 4x100m relay including Nesta Carter and Michael Frater.

Ainsley Waugh and the Barbadian pair of Andrew Hines and Wilan Louis will also compete.

Powell started his season in Australia last year, but did not compete in Sydney because he had four stitches in his knee. However several days later he ‘jogged’ to the finish in Melbourne in 10.04.

Although he reached the Beijing Olympic 100m final, Powell disappointed finishing in fifth place, but he anchored Jamaica’s relay to a World record with a stunning run. Shortly after the Olympics he ran a personal best of 9.72sec, the fifth consecutive year he has run a PB under the coaching of Stephen Francis who will accompany the MVP squad to Australia.

President of the MVP club, Bruce James, confirmed the trip to Australia yesterday but said Olympic 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser and silver medallist Sherone Simpson would not make this tour.

“Fraser is a student at the University of Technology and in the MVP track club, we take the education of our student athletes very seriously and therefore she is going to remain in Jamaica in university attending classes,’’ James said.

“Simpson (who tied with fellow Jamaican Kerron Stewart for second in the Beijing 100m) will not be attending as she continues to recover from surgery (to her knee) in October 2008. She’s on a good path of recovery and we’re not going to interfere with that as we follow the doctor’s instructions.’’

James said he regards the two-week training camp to Australia, which includes two competitive meets, as part of the MVP club’s yearly routine.

“The first time we went to Australia was in 2006 for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and you might recall that 2006 was an excellent year for MVP, we did again in 2008 and that was a great experience again … so spending two weeks in Australia seems to be part of the positive approach that we take to some of our elite athletes, so we’ll continue doing that,’’ he said.

Mike Hurst for the IAAF

I really hope this comes true. No mention on the Sydney Track classic or ANSW sites and the Athletics Australia site is down.

Information and entry procedures at the following link:


This has now been confirmed.

From the Athletics Australia site:

Sprint fans will be in for a treat this summer, following the news that American star Xavier ‘X-Man’ Carter and three members of Jamaica’s 4 x 100m Olympic gold medal winning relay team including Asafa Powell will be burning up the track in Sydney and Melbourne this summer.

Powell, the second fastest man in the world, will be accompanied in Australia by his esteemed coach Steve Francis, and his talented training group which includes Olympic 100m finalist and world championships bronze medallist Mike Frater, fellow Beijing relay member Nesta Carter, 2008 Beijing 400m silver medallist Shericka Williams and Olympic 400m hurdles champion Melaine Walker.

United States sprinter Xavier Carter is scheduled to compete in the 400m at the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday 28 February and in the Peter Norman Memorial 200m at the World Athletics Tour Melbourne on Thursday 5 March.

Known as the ‘X-man’ for his famous crossed arm victory salute, Carter shocked the track and field world in 2006 with what was the second fastest 200m of all-time (19.63 seconds) at the Athletissima meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

At the time, only Michael Johnson’s world-record of 19.32 seconds from the Atlanta Olympic Games was faster.

In the same year, Carter historically won four titles at the prestigious NCAA Championships in the 100m, 400m, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay, becoming the first athlete since Jesse Owens to win four gold medals and the first athlete to win both the 100m and 400m.

Since then his 2007 and 2008 seasons have been marred by a knee injury, and the 23-year-old is keen to kick start his 2009 campaign with a breakthrough summer in Australia as he looks towards August’s world championships in Berlin.

"After being injured this past summer I wanted to get back on track as fast as possible,” said Carter.

“I have heard so many great things about the meets in Australia that I thought that there was no better place to start my outdoor season!"

Carter, who played wide receiver for the Louisiana State University Tigers at Collage, will feel right at home in Australia, as he grew up attending high school in Melbourne (Florida).

Olympic Park erupted when former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell took to the track at the World Athletics Tour meet in Melbourne in March last year.

Having injured his knee falling up stairs in his Jamaican home just prior to his departure for Australia, there was never the certainty that Powell would compete in his signature event. However, Powell rose to the occasion, powering across the finish line to record a new meet record of 10.04 (-0.2), beating the previously held best of 10.09 by American Maurice Greene.

This year’s sojourn will mark Powell’s third visit to Australia in four years. His fastest time on Australian soil was his 10.03 in the final at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, a time he has every chance of beating this summer.

Powell’s record speaks for itself. The world 100m record holder from June 2005 to May 2008 with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds, he is the only man in history to have seven legal runs under 9.80 seconds. A winner of the World Athletics Final on six occasions, he won his first Olympic gold medal anchoring the Jamaican 4 x 100m relay team to victory in Beijing, helping establish a new world record in the process.

Post Beijing, Powell recorded seven consecutive 100m races under 9.90 seconds in Europe. This stretch included his personal best of 9.72 seconds - the second fastest 100m in history.

However, Powell has a lot to prove in 2009. After holding the title of the ‘world’s fastest man’ for just under two years, fellow Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt came along and knocked Powell off his perch last year, stunning the sporting world with amazing world record runs and Olympic gold.

In addition to the 100m world record, the only thing that remains missing from Powell’s outstanding resume is a major title. Finishing fifth in the 100m final at the Beijing and Athens Olympics, he was defeated by Tyson Gay at the world championships in Osaka in 2007 after heading in as favourite.

In Australia to commence his preparations for the 2009 world championships, the ‘underdog tag’ may just benefit the 26-year-old, as he attempts to erase that major championship curse.

Both the Sydney Track Classic and World Athletics Tour Melbourne will be broadcast around Australia on Network Ten. Any Australian athlete who breaks an Australian record will receive a $10,000 bonus as part of the $310,000 prize money on offer this summer.

Sydney Track Classic – Sydney Olympic Park – Saturday 28 February 2009
World Athletics Tour - Olympic Park Melbourne – Thursday 5 March 2009

All we need now is for Bolt to venture down under :slight_smile:

I certainly wouldn’t complain if they got some relay practice in. It would be nice to see a sub 37 second relay this year at worlds.