Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 3rd 2015 Contents "Being under the radar, it s always good, you know?
The underdog. No one knows what to expect. You
can just strike at any time," Powell said before racing
in Saturday s Diamond League meeting in Paris shorn
of Bolt, his Jamaica teammate out injured with a
blocked joint in his left leg.
Truth be told, Powell is probably selling himself
a bit short.
First, in May, and then again last week in winning
the Jamaica trials, he twice ran a very respectable
9.84 seconds. That is faster than the 2015 best of
Tyson Gay, back from a one-year doping suspension
and heading to the worlds as US champion.
It also is as quick as the 2015 and personal best
of Trayvon Bromell, the 19-year-old who snapped
at Gay s heels at the US championships last week.
And, perhaps most importantly, it is far quicker than
Bolt this year, who ran a lame 10.12 in April, way off
his world-record 9.58 in 2009.
In fact, only Justin Gatlin has run faster than Powell
this year, with 9.74 in May and 9.75 in June. If those
times make Gatlin the favourite at the worlds in
Beijing, then Powell cannot be far behind.
"For now, the older guys are still on top, and we re
running very fast," Powell said. The younger generation
of sprinters, "they ll just have to wait their turn."
But unlike Powell, 33-year-old Gatlin is only getting
quicker with age. That and the four-year doping ban
he served make the American s detractors suspicious,
and make him a subject Powell would rather avoid.
"It s just a very uncomfortable topic to talk about,
you know? I don t like to get into it," he said. "I just
hope that he is doing what he is doing to the best
of his ability and doing it honestly."
Powell said his own ban was "very difficult" to
come back from. The Court of Arbitration for Sport
reduced it to six months, from an initial 18 months,
after he explained that the banned stimulant oxilofrine
found in his urine came from a supplement. That
experience is why Powell refused the water the organ-
iser of the Paris meet offered him during a news con-
ference on Thursday.
Friday, July 3, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PARIS---Offered a glass of water in a swel-
tering Parisian heat wave, Asafa Powell
shook his head, preferring the risk of thirst.
Once bitten, twice shy: Having served a
doping ban for ingesting a contaminated
supplement, the former 100-metre world
record-holder says he takes zero chances
with what he eats and drinks.
At age 32, another enforced time-out
could kill any hope Powell has of converting
his speed into major championship gold
that has always eluded him. His haul, not
including relay gold medals with Jamaica,
from three Olympic sprint finals and three
world championships is two bronze medals,
from the 2007 and 2009 worlds --- surely
less than Powell s undoubted talent deserves.
The world s fastest human from June 2005
to May 2008 when Usain Bolt usurped and
then completely overshadowed him, Powell
sees himself as a still very speedy and dan-
gerous underdog heading toward the world
championships in August.
And that suits him just fine.
over virus fears
ASHGABAT---As South Korea battles to contain
an outbreak of the deadly MERS virus, some foreign
athletes are turning their back on the country.
Russian world champion gymnasts and the entire
national sports team from the Central Asian nation
of Turkmenistan will not compete at this month s
University Games in Gwangju due to the virus, which
has killed 33 people in the country so far. More than
2,000 others are in quarantine.
Turkmenistan s State Sports Committee told The
Associated Press on Thursday that it was withdrawing
its athletes from the games to protect them from the
virus, while Russia is not sending its top rhythmic
gymnasts --- who are favorites for Olympic gold next
year --- for the same reason. A reserve team will rep-
resent Russia in rhythmic gymnastics instead.
The opening ceremony for the games is Friday,
though some competitions began Thursday.
The organizing committee, known as GUOC, insist-
ed athletes would be safe at the games.
"So far, there are no confirmed cases or suspected
patients in Gwangju," organizers said in a statement
last week. "The GUOC and the central government
are taking safety and security measures seriously to
keep Gwangju a MERS-free environment."
It is another blow to the games, after the North
Korean team withdrew last month. That was in protest
at the opening of a United Nations human rights
monitoring office in the South Korean capital Seoul,
South Korean officials said.
The games cover 21 sports and run through July
Powell likes flying under radar to world championships
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