Former World 100-metre record-holder Asafa Powell is set to clash with American former world indoor 60m champion Justin Gatlin over 50-meter at the US Open, organizers said on Thursday.
Powell, who announced late last year that he plans to use a full indoor season as part of his preparation for this summer’s Olympic Games in London leads a star-studded field for the short sprint.
Besides Powell and Gatlin, the field will also include Antigua’s Daniel Bailey, who trains with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in Jamaica, as well as Olympic 100m silver medallist Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago and American Trell Kimmons.
“If I’m on the podium in London, which is a real objective, then I’ll be able to consider my return to be fully accomplished,” recalled Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m gold medal winner from Athens.
The men’s 50m world record is a blistering 5.56 seconds and this was set by Canada’s 1996 Olympic champion Donovan Bailey in that same year. Maurice Greene matched that time three years later in Los Angeles.
The US Open competition will take place on January 28 at Madison Square Garden.