Powell breaks 100m record | india | Hindustan Times
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Powell breaks 100m record

india Updated: Sep 10, 2007 11:08 IST
Asafa Powell

Asafa Powell, the laid back son of a preacher man, has taken full possession of the world 100 metres record after yet another failure at a major championship.

Powell clocked 9.74 seconds in his heat at the Rieti Grand Prix on Sunday to better the mark of 9.77 he had held jointly with American Olympic champion Justin Gatlin.

Last month the 24-year-old Jamaican tied up in the 100 metres final at the Osaka world championships to finish third behind American Tyson Gay after starting as the race favourite.

His bronze medal was the latest in a series of disappointments.

Powell was disqualified in the quarterfinals at the 2003 Paris world championships. In the following year he finished fifth behind Gatlin at the Athens Olympics, his only defeat of the year in the only race that really mattered.

A time of 9.85 seconds on a cool, wet June evening in Ostrava in 2005 promised great things for Powell and a week later he clocked 9.77 with the help of a following wind in Athens.

However, a groin injury excluded Powell from the Helsinki world championships in the same year, where Gatlin won the 100-200 double. The American is currently serving a drugs ban.

Powell is only the fourth non-American to hold the world 100 metres record since 1912 and the first since Jamaican-born Canadian Donovan Bailey clocked 9.84 seconds in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic final.

He is the beneficiary of a scheme set up in Jamaica by former hurdler Brigitte Foster to ensure young athletes do not feel impelled to move to the United States or Europe for economic reasons.