No hurry!

Asafa targets top form for Racers Grand Prix and beyond

Sunday, May 26, 2019

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Former World record holder Asafa Powell says he will be using this season as a gauge to decide if he will hang up his spikes or push on for another year in competition.

Powell, who has more sub-10-second clockings than anyone else in history, has been low-key in recent times, but is currently working his way back to his optimum as he seeks to register the 100th sub-10 clocking at this year's fourth edition of the Racers Adidas Grand Prix meet.

The 36-year-old, who boasts a personal best of 9.72, which ranks fourth on the all-time list of male 100 metre athletes, has already signalled a gradual return to form with 10.35 and 10.31 clockings so far this year.

“This year I'm focusing on staying healthy, so I can train properly. I've had a few injury problems and just been working to overcome them. My last performance was really training to see if my calf was fully healed.

“So my plan is to push myself this year and that will determine if I do another year,” Powell told the Jamaica Observer.

At the Racers Adidas Grand Prix, scheduled for June 8 inside the National Stadium, Powell is set to line up alongside compatriots Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter and Kemar Bailey-Cole, as well as Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes and American Trayvon Bromell.

A total of 130 athletes from 15 countries have been confirmed to be a part of the three-hour showpiece with 19 events to be contested.

The outing for Powell will be his final dress parade ahead of Jamaica's National Championships two weeks later, where he will challenge for a spot on the team to the IAAF World Championship in Doha, Qatar, in September.

“For the Racers meet, I'm working on executing and reminding my body how to run fast. Every race is a part of the preparation for trials, including Grand Prix because this year is a weird year because of the time where the (World) Championships falls,” Powell noted.

Finally, with Jamaica's sprinting not being the same as it was in previous years, particularly since the retirement of the world's fastest man Usain Bolt who called time on his illustrious career in 2017, Powell believes the upcoming athletes lack a key component to continue the country's rich sprinting form.

“Jamaica has got too comfortable the past 10 years because of the big names that we managed to produce in that time, but to continue that trend the athletes need to be hungry for it.

“They need to ensure that after champs (Boys' and Girls' Athletic Championships), they get the help they need from their coaches and the country. Champs is just the beginning,” he asserted.

— Sherdon Cowan


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