‘Bolt’s records will be hard to beat’

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - Hu­bert Lawrence Gleaner Writer

ASAFA POW­ELL, the former holder of the 100 me­tres world record, be­lieves that it will be hard to break the world sprint marks held by his il­lus­tri­ous Ja­maican team­mate Usain Bolt.

Pow­ell, who was speak­ing last week in In­dia, says Bolt’s third low­er­ing of the 100-me­tre record – to 9.58 sec­onds – was a great race. His opin­ion con­curs with the view ex­pressed early this year by another former world record holder, Dono­van Bai­ley of Canada,

“It will be very dif­fi­cult to break th­ese two records,” of­fered the 33year-old Pow­ell. Like the world record for 200 me­tres, Bolt set the cur­rent 100 me­tres stan­dard at the 2009 World Cham­pi­onships in Berlin, Ger­many, with Pow­ell get­ting third place.

“I was pretty much the best starter in the world and he was al­ready ahead of me at the start,” Pow­ell re­called.

Con­trary to the gen­eral per­cep­tion of the tall man from Trelawny be­ing slow from the blocks, Bolt led the field from the very first step. He clocked 6.31 sec­onds at the 60-me­tre mark, which is su­pe­rior to the world in­door record for 60 me­tres of 6.39.

“So, he had a great race,” he said ad­mir­ingly. “It’s go­ing to be very hard for some­one to come and match that run,” he stated.

Pow­ell set the world record at 9.77 sec­onds in 2005, equalled it twice be­fore trim­ming it to 9.74 in 2007. Bolt ac­cel­er­ated that to 9.72 sec­onds be­fore the 2008 Olympics and won the gold medal there with a mirac­u­lous run of 9.69 sec­onds.

RECORDS LIKELY TO STAND

“I would say it is likely to stand for a very long time,” he con­cluded of the 9.58 clock­ing. He did al­low that the 100m record was slightly more vul­ner­a­ble. Usain Bolt (left) and Asafa Pow­ell.

“I feel the 9.58 is more likely to be bro­ken,” he con­tin­ued.

The all-time per­for­mance list has the joint sec­ond-fastest 100me­tre men alive, Ja­maica’s Yo­han Blake and Amer­i­can Tyson Gay, tied at 9.69 sec­onds while Blake’s per­sonal best at 200 me­tres of 19.26 is closer to the Bolt world record of 19.19 sec­onds. Though Pow­ell has a 200-me­tre per­sonal best of 19.90 sec­onds and qual­i­fied for the 2004 200-me­tre Olympic

fi­nal, he thinks Bolt’s world record in the curved sprint is as­tound­ing. “19.19secs in 200m is ridicu­lous,” Pow­ell said.

Ear­lier in the year, Bai­ley, the Olympic 100-me­tre cham­pion in 1996, said the world records will stand for a long time. Bai­ley, who set a world record to win his Olympic gold medal, said: “Bolt has set the cur­rent bar high for sprint­ers and some­one will be along to break his records in the far, far fu­ture.”

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