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TrackLife International

Asafa Powell Wins Big in Kingston: World Leading 9.84


Jamaica’s former world record holder Asafa Powell roared back to his winning ways when he blazed the track to win over American Ryan Bailey and Jamaican Nesta Carter at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston Saturday night (9th).

Having won his first individual race of the season last weekend in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, Powell started brilliantly out of the blocks in Kingston and soon pulled away from the field to cross the line at full throttle in a world leading 9.84secs, his 87th sub-10 seconds race in his career. Bailey, who was not as quick from the blocks, clawed his way into second position in 9.93, while Carter finished third in 9.98.

It has been a long time since Powell competed at home, and the race, one of the most anticipated on Jamaica soil in recent times, lived up to its promise as a scorcher. Jamaicans could hardly wait to see the clash between Powell and Bailey, the man who anchored the US sprint relay team to victory over Jamaica anchored by Powell at the Penn Relays two weeks ago and last weekend again anchored a powerful US team that defeated Jamaica with Usain Bolt on anchor. Bailey then drew the ire of Jamaicans when he performed Bolt’s signature ‘To di Worl’ victory pose to mock Bolt by dragging his index finger across his throat in a slashing manner.

Since arriving in Jamaica for the meet, Bailey explained that his celebratory action at Bolt was nothing personal. “Me and Bolt, we are friends. I just poked a little fun,” he said. “I think it was definitely misunderstood and taken the wrong way. It was just for fun.”

Ryan Bailey Booed

But clearly, the Jamaican fans did not buy Bailey’s explanation. Last night at the National Stadium in Kingston, they showered boos of wrath on him as he lined up for the big race against high quality sprinters other than Powell and Carter, such as Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, Daniel Bailey of Antigua, and rising Jamaican University of Technology (UTech) star Andrew Fisher who clocked a person best of 10.01 for fourth.

After winning, Powell noted that as opposed to when he would slow down before the finish line, he is now relaxing all the way through. Regarding his target for the season, Powell said, “I’m just working hard; I want to go out there and do my best.” All other athletes in the top ten, he said, have managed to run their best in an Olympic or World Championship final, “but I have never run my best in a final, so it’s my goal to make sure I do my best, and if my best isn’t good enough to beat the field, at least I would know I did my best.”       See meet results

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