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PROTRACK » International Results & News » Asafa Powell - "I won't choke in World Champs"

Asafa Powell - "I won't choke in World Champs"

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Powell wins the 100m in Lausanne in 9.78.

Powell wants to shake choker tag

The UK Sun
08 Jul 2011

ASAFA POWELL insists he won't choke again this summer and will beat Usain Bolt to 100 metres glory.

Powell held the 100m world record before it was first broken by fellow Jamaican Bolt in 2008.

And he is the fastest man over that distance so far this year having clocked 9.78secs in Lausanne last week.

He races in the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on Sunday with Olympic champion Bolt missing from the line-up, shunning Britain ahead of London 2012 because of tax reasons.

The two are due to meet at the World Championships in South Korea next month where Bolt will defend his 100m and 200m titles.

And Powell insists he has got over the mental problems which have plagued him in the past and stopped him converting his success on the circuit into championship titles.

But he could only finish fifth at the Athens and Beijing Olympics and manage bronze at the 2007 and 2009 world championships.

Powell admitted: "Other people have been saying that when I go to the championships I freeze up and don't do what I'm supposed to do.

"My coach has said it's a mental problem but for me a small part of it was mental and a small part was physical because I kept getting injured every year.

"When you get injured two or three weeks before a championship it affects you mentally. Going into the championships most of the years I've been running 9.94secs before the race so the confidence isn't there.

"But this time I know that I'm in good shape so it's going to be a lot different. This is the best shape I've ever been in. My main concern now is to stay injury-free between now and the world championships."

Bolt, who holds the current world mark of 9.58secs has run just two 100m races this season with a best time of 9.91secs.

And with arch-rival American Tyson Gay now out for the rest of the season through injury Powell knows he will never have a better chance of beating Bolt.

He said: "I'm the No1 sprinter this year and I'm the man to beat. That gives me confidence, the edge over everyone. I've done this time this year and that is the time to beat.

"For the rest of the season I know the spotlight will still be on Bolt. Maybe after the world champs we'll see if that will change and who will be in the spotlight.

"Leave me in the background for now. That suits me. He can take the heat and I will win. That's the plan."

"Tyson not being around does honestly make it easier. With Tyson there as well if you make a slight mistake it's difficult to win.

"Now without him you still have a chance. You can make a small mistake and still cross the finish line first."

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