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Powell: 'We can't break the world record'

By Gary Smith, World-Track

China Shanghai Golden Grand PrixSHANGHAI, China —

Former world 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell believes his chances of reclaiming his record from fellow countryman Usain Bolt is slowly looking faint given the form his successor is currently showing.

Powell last held the world record at 9.74seconds before being replaced by Bolt, who first lowered the mark with a stunning run of 9.72secs in May last year.

Bolt went on to erased the mark with an effortless 9.69secs run at the Olympic Games in Beijing last summer before shattering the mark when he out-classed a high profiled field to win the World Championships title in 9.58secs in Berlin.

Before that race, Powell, who finished third to Bolt, was confident of challenging the old standard, but after watching his Jamaican teammate power to another phenomenal run in Berlin, the once fastest man on earth is now less optimistic about breaking the record.

"We can’t break the world record but we can definitely try to get to as close as possible," Powell told a news conference on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s Shanghai Golden Grand Prix Meeting.

"Not every time that Usain goes on the track he’s going to win finally. He can be beaten. I’m doing harder to beat him and Tyson is doing harder to beat him; just have to give our best. "

Powell also plans to better his own performances in the 2010 season.

"Well, you know me and Tyson, we’ve been injured this year. I haven’t been able to put on my personal best yet," the Jamaican who owns a personal best of 9,72secs said.

"But next year, even if we can’t break the world record we’ll try our best for possibilities. So there are still wins and losses, and the question is who wins most."

In the meantime, American record holder and former world sprint double champion Tyson Gay was more buoyant about his chances of challenging Bolt’s record when he recovers fully from a groin injury.

"As long as I’m healthy and focused … I think I’m going to look at the record," Gay said on Saturday.

Despite running on an injured groin for the major part of the season, Gay managed to clock the third-fastest 100m times ever of 9.71secs to finish two-metres behind Bolt in Berlin, and he insists things will be different after his surgery after the end of his season.

"I will be fully healthy," he said. "Asafa will be fully healthy … so we’ll be able to put on better times and better races."

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