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Powell sets new 100m world record

  • Story Highlights
  • Asafa Powell sets a new 100m world record with a time of 9.74secs in Italy
  • Powell breaks his own world record of 9.77 secs that he set in Athens in 2005
  • The Jamaican flopped in the Osaka world championships, finishing only third
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ROME, Italy -- Jamaican Asafa Powell set a new men's world 100m record of 9.74 seconds at the IAAF Grand Prix at Rieti, Italy, on Sunday, beating his old mark of 9.77 set in Athens in June 2005.


Powell's new world record shaves three-hundredths of a second off his previous mark set in June 2005.

The 24-year-old Powell dominated the race ahead of Norway's Saidy Ndure Jaysuma (10.07) and 2003 world champion from St Kitts and Nevis, Kim Collins (10.14).

The Jamaican failed to win the 100m title at the Osaka world championships, finishing third in 9.96 seconds behind Americain Tyson Gay (9.85) and Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas (9.91).

"I was much more fluid," said Powell, who had run 9.77 three times. "Zero tension, zero pressure."

Powell set his latest record in the second of two heats, and even eased up at the end to save something for the final, which he won in 9.78.

"This means that I can do even 9.68," the Jamaican said. "I'm worth that time, I know it."

The record was set with a strong wind at his back, but it was below the maximum allowed by the IAAF to make records valid.

In the final, Powell won with no wind. Jamaican teammate Michael Frater was second in 10.03, followed by Jaysuma Saidy Ndure of Norway in 10.10.

"Today I ran like I should have done at the worlds," Powell said. "At Osaka, I was too tense, I was thinking about the race and the time I had to set. Instead, here I was relaxed."

After the final, Powell celebrated amid a crowd of photographers on the field of Raul Guidobaldi stadium, throwing a bouquet of flowers into the stands and shaking hands with fans and signing autographs during a victory lap.

"Me and my coach have been working to getting myself back to normal," Powell said. "I came here today and I executed properly and did what I was supposed to do."

Powell is only the fourth non-American to hold the 100 world record since 1912. Donovan Bailey of Canada (1996), Armin Hary of West Germany (1960) and Percy Williams of Canada (1930) are the others.

Rieti is a fast track on which six middle-distance world records have been set.

"It's a very fast track. I love this track. It's very bouncy," said Powell, who trains in Italy three months of the year. "Italy is a good place for me. It's my second home."

Powell first set the world record of 9.77 in June 2005 in Athens, Greece. Justin Gatlin matched the time in May 2006, but the American faces a suspension of up to eight years following a positive doping test for testosterone and other steroids at the Kansas Relays a month earlier. In June 2006, Powell again ran 9.77, and then did it a third time in August 2006.

But Powell has struggled at major competitions, missing a medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. At the worlds, he finished behind gold medalist Tyson Gay and Derrick Atkins, running 9.96. The bronze was Powell's first major medal.

"That was a race I had to win and I didn't. Enough. I lost," Powell said. "The real Powell is the one from today, not the Osaka one." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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