Asafa Powell looking forward to Tokyo Olympics despite disappointing start to seasonMonday, March 01, 2021
By Dwayne Richards
Asafa Powell was slated to bring the curtains down on the first staging of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Qualification Trials at the National Stadium on Saturday, but that was not to be.
The former 100m world record holder had designs on running at least one 60m race this season, but after three false starts during which participants would have sprinted some ways down the track, the race was scrapped and the opportunity to open his season lost.
Powell was philosophical about not being able to open his season after the long delay to the restart of track and field on the island.
“Yeah, I'm disappointed. I said to myself that I should have just run the 400m…but I think everything happens for a reason. I really wanted to run the 60m, but the guys kept false-starting, and by the time we got to the third one I was too tired, so I just didn't bother.”
Having watched some of the events before, it was his time to grace the newly laid track, but Powell expressed confidence that there would be many more meets staged in Jamaica for the rest of the season.
“Yes, it's disappointing to start off like this, but we have more to go. It seems like it [the meet] ran very smooth…so I am very confident we have a lot more to go.
“This would have been my only 60m of the season. I just wanted to get one in, because I would normally be indoors at this time. So, I really wanted to get a 60m in to see where I am at, at this time, so I think for the next couple of meets I will be running the 100m.”
The many times Jamaica national champion says that the local-based athletes will need time to get back up to scratch, based on the challenges that they have faced over the last 12 months or so.
“The last year has been very strange, we have never experienced this in track and field, so I think for me and the rest of the Jamaican[-based] athletes, seeing that we just started competing again, to find that drive again, to really get us back into competition mode…we haven't been competing for a year and change, so the drive takes a while to come back.”
He is hoping that over the next few weeks and months that the athletes will have enough competition to be able to round into shape in time for Tokyo in July.
“Definitely, the Olympic Games, we are looking forward to it. Hopefully we get to compete a lot and prepare our bodies for the Olympic Games.”
Powell admitted that it was sometimes difficult to cope with the uncertainty surrounding the resumption of track and field, when all they were allowed to do was train.
“It's hard not to think about track and field because we were still training, we were still maintaining our fitness, so I was thinking about it all the time. Sometimes in a negative way because we weren't competing, so it felt like we were training for nothing. I was always thinking about it, sometimes negative but mostly positive.”
The usually injury-prone Powell was happy to report that for the first preseason in years he had remained injury-free, something for which he was very grateful.
“This is the first I haven't been injured. We normally resume training in September or October and I would be like maybe five injuries down already. So far, I can say none, so hopefully I can maintain and stay in good shape and give a good performance.”
While family time has increased, earnings have decreased for the athletes, Powell highlighted as he reasoned about the pros and cons of the enforced break caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It's not all negative because people get to spend more time with their family. We weren't used to being in Jamaica for so long, so we get to spend some more time here with family. On the negative side, we are not competing and this is our job, if we don't do our job, we don't get paid, and so on that side it's been a negative.”
Powell will be chasing his fifth-consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games for Jamaica in Tokyo, Japan, this year.
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