Sprinter Powell to compete at Bolt-less World Athletics Final
STUTTGART, Germany -- Asafa Powell will get another shot at regaining the world record in the 100 meters at the World Athletics Final this weekend.
Powell has ran well in the past at the two-day event, which offers $6 million in prize money. But after five races in eight days, however, he may not have enough left to challenge his Jamaican countryman Usain Bolt's 9.69-second mark set at the Beijing Olympics.
Bolt is skipping the final, although this weekend's competition in Stuttgart will be followed by several more meets.
It is the final time Stuttgart will stage the final. The stadium is being turned into a football arena and will lose the track.
The 100-meter race is on Saturday and Powell is one of the headliners of the weekend.
The Jamaican has won the dash in three straight finals, each time lowering the meet record: 9.98 in 2004, 9.89 in 2006 and 9.83 last year. Stuttgart hosted the event the last two years.
Powell has the highest number of sub 9.8 times (seven) and sub 9.9s (22). This year alone, counting the qualifying heats, Powell has run the 100 under 10 seconds on 13 occasions.
As impressive as his record is, Powell failed when it mattered most, fading to fifth at the Olympics when Bolt set his amazing record without even pushing all the way.
Powell bounced back when he matched the second-fastest time in history by clocking 9.72 in Lausanne on Sept. 2.
He has won four of his last five races, losing only to Bolt in Brussels one week ago.
With no heats in Stuttgart and weather playing along, Powell could threaten Bolt's record.
A bonus of $100,000 will be awarded for any world record along with the first-place prize of $30,000 -- another incentive for Powell to make one more big effort.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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