Asafa Powell went undefeated in the 100 meters and had an unprecedented 12 sub-10 second races last year. One of them came at the Bislett Games, and the Jamaican world record-holder aims for another one when he returns to one of athletics' most famous venues for the Golden League opener on Friday.
"My goal is to run under 10 seconds," said Powell. "I'm in good shape and I'm able to run a fast race."
He proved it two weeks ago in Belgrade, Serbia, winning in 9.97 for his 26th career sub-10 when returning from an injury. Powell's time is the second fastest of the year. Walter Dix posted 9.93 when he won the 100 at the NCAA Championships a week ago in Sacramento, California.
European champion Francis Obikwelu of Portugal will also compete in the Bislett Games.
"But he's not the only sprinter in the field who can run fast," Powell said.
The 100 is certain to be the one of the highlights with Darrel Brown of Trinidad and Tobago, Michael Frater of Jamaica and Marcus Brunson of the United States also entered.
Last year, the 24-year-old Powell twice equaled his world record of 9.77.
He set the world record in June 2005 in Athens, Greece. He matched that time a year later at Gateshead, England, and in Zurich, Switzerland, two months later.
He still shares the record with Justin Gatlin of the United States, who has acknowledged a doping violation and faces being stripped of the mark.
Powell won 22 consecutive races before being disqualified for a second false start in Yokohama, Japan, in September last year. The male world IAAF athlete of the year, Powell also won a share of the Golden League US$1 million dollar jackpot last season. Athletes must win all six meets to acquire at least a share. As in the five previous seasons, the Golden League starts in Oslo. Other meets are in Paris, Rome, Zurich, Brussels and Berlin.