By Gary Smith, World-Track
RIETI — Jamaican former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell believes he is capable of beating fellow countryman Usain Bolt, despite failing to race on the same level as the new king of sprinting.
Ever since Bolt incredible twirl to race in the 100m two seasons ago, he has opened huge daylight between himself and his fellow challengers with some miraculous performances, which has many believing his undefeated run will continue for years to come.
Many believe Powell has the ability to go faster than his current personal best of 9.72seconds, but not fast enough to take on Bolt, who lowered his 100m world record to 9.58seconds at the Worlds in Berlin last month. Powell was a distant third in 9.84secs, as American Tyson Gay also crossed the line before him in a 9.71secs national record.
"Anything is possible if you set your mind to it," a convinced Powell, who once ruled the short sprint, said. "We need to get there with Bolt to really put on a good show.
"Before I was the man to beat. Now I have someone in front of me, so I really have to push myself to get back ahead of him."
The last time Powell beat Bolt, was over a year ago in Stockholm, he used a rocket start to hold off his countryman, days before watching him eased to the Olympic title and world record in Beijing.
Powell was hoping for some redemption at the world championships in Berlin last month, but again he was left to battle for the minor places – with Usain bolting away to another world record.
The pair featured in an exciting contest in Zurich, after the Berlin championships and even though Powell got a superior start than Bolt, he was unable to hold him off.
"My technique messed up," Powell confessed. "If I had maintained my rhythm, I could have won, but I knew he is very strong towards the finish."
It is believed that for Powell to match Bolt he will have to make 200m races a recreation, but he is not sure about going beyond his comfort distant, admitting that: "Even today my coach is arguing with me about being so lazy."