Jamaican breaks Montgomery's record

Updated: June 14, 2005, 7:29 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ATHENS, Greece -- Asafa Powell set a world record in the men's 100 meters Tuesday, clocking 9.77 seconds at the Tsiklitiria Super Grand Prix meeting.

100-Meter Record Progression
Time (secs.) Name/Country Date
9.77 Justin Gatlin, U.S. May 12, 2006
9.77 Asafa Powell, Jamaica June 14, 2005
9.79 Maurice Greene, U.S. June 16, 1999
9.84 Donovan Bailey, Canada July 27, 1996
9.85 Leroy Burrell, U.S. July 6, 1994
9.86 Carl Lewis, U.S. Aug. 25, 1991
9.90 Leroy Burrell, U.S. June 14, 1991
9.92 Carl Lewis, U.S. Sept. 24, 1988
9.93 Calvin Smith, U.S. July 3, 1983
Jim Hines, U.S. Oct. 14, 1968
9.99 Jim Hines, U.S. June 20, 1968
10.0 Armin Hary, West Germany June 21, 1960
10.1 Willie Williams, U.S. Aug. 3, 1956
10.2 Jesse Owens, U.S. June 20, 1936
10.3 Percy Williams, Canada Aug. 9, 1930
10.4 Charles Paddock, U.S. April 23, 1921
10.6 Donald Lippincott, U.S. July 6, 1912

On a warm summer's night on one of the fastest tracks in the world, the 22-year-old beat Tim Montgomery's previous record of 9.78 set in Paris in September 2002 to become the fastest man ever over the distance.

"This goes to show that the no one knows how fast a man can run," a smiling Powell told reporters. "I am just happy to have set the record on a track where Maurice Greene also broke the world record."

American Greene set a record in 1999 when he ran 9.79 seconds in the same stadium, which hosted the Summer Olympics last year.

Montgomery's record already was at risk because he faces doping charges.

Powell, 22, already had the world's fastest time this year, a run of 9.84 seconds at the Jamaica International Invitational on May 8. He also ran a 9.85 on June 9 in the Czech Republic.

Powell earlier this week had said he would take a shot at the record during the Athens super grand prix at the stadium which hosted Summer Olympics last year and where American Maurice Greene also set a new 100 metres mark in 1999.

Asked whether he could run even faster, Powell smiled.

"If you ask what I can do more this year, you will have to wait until the end of this year's season to see," he said.

Montgomery finished fifth out of six in the 100 meters with a time of 10.43 seconds Saturday at a meet in Mexico.

"I congratulate him on the record but I was shocked he broke it so early in the season," Montgomery told his agent Charles Wells.

On Tuesday in front of a sparse crowd in the Greek capital, Powell showed he was in fine form during his semifinal when he clocked 9.98 seconds despite easing up in the last few meters.

In the final, he got off to a good start and powered past his opponents to finish three meters ahead of Aziz Zakari from Ghana, who was second in 9.99 seconds and Jamaican Michael Frater, who was third. The wind speed was within the legal limit.

Tuesday's record made up in part for Powell's disappointment at finishing fifth in a 100 meters final he was favorite to win at last year's Olympics.

Powell's run removed controversy from the world record. Montgomery's time could be wiped out if the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules that Montgomery was guilty of doping. Montgomery was charged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency with using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.