Former world record holder Asafa Powell says he can catch fellow Jamaican countryman and world’s fastest man Usain Bolt when the two face off next year.
“Usian is the target right now and I’m shooting at him,” Powell told reporters Tuesday in Singapore while promoting next year’s Youth Olympic Games. “I know that I can do it.”
Powell, who has run a personal best of 9.72 seconds in the 100 meters, will square off against Bolt and American Tyson Gay in the IAAF Diamond League, a new circuit for the top-tier of track and field starting in 2010, a year with no Olympics or World Championships on the schedule.
Bolt, the 100-meter and 200-meter world record holder and a three-time Olympic champion, ran a record 9.58 seconds at Berlin in August, a mark Powell said can be beat.
“I knew 9.5 was possible,” he said. “I’m not sure if 9.4 is possible, but I’m 100 percent sure that you’ll see some very fast times next year.”
Gay ran a 9.69 at Shanghai in September.
Powell said the 6-foot-5 Bolt has an edge over smaller competitors during the second half of races, but is slower at the start.
“I have an advantage because I’m shorter than him so I can get out of the starting block faster, while he’s taller so he’s stronger at the end,” Powell said.