Powell Equals His World Record
Asafa Powell needed three days to get to the Weltklasse Golden League meet because of all the airline disruptions in Europe.
When he finally arrived, he was as fast and flawless as ever.
The Jamaican equaled his 100-meter world record on a balmy Friday night, the third time he has run the distance in 9.77 seconds.
“I knew I had something special, but I didn’t know so fast,” Powell said. “I’m the only one who has ever run 9.77 three times. I ran a world record three times. If I’m going to continue to run 9.77 for the rest of career it’s not a bother to me.”
Still, he’s confident he can go even faster.
“One way or the other, there will come a time when I run under 9.77,” he said.
Powell led from start to finish and was followed by two Americans -- Tyson Gay in a personal best of 9.84 and Leonard Scott in his season-best 9.97.
Just getting to Zurich was an ordeal for Powell. His trip from Jamaica took three days because of disruptions caused by the alleged terrorist plot to blow up transatlantic flights from London. He left Jamaica last Saturday and went by train from Paris to his summer training base in Italy.
Powell set the world record in Athens in 2005, with Justin Gatlin equaling the mark in May. Powell matched the record again a month later in Gateshead, England.
Gatlin was not at Weltklasse after testing positive for doping following a relay race in April. If Gatlin is found guilty, his world record will be stripped.
Powell has won all four of his Golden League events and is among nine athletes vying for a share of the $1-million jackpot. The prize is awarded to any athlete who wins his or her event in all six meets in the series.
Sherone Simpson of Jamaica won the women’s 100 in 11.09 after having run 10.82 in June. Two Americans followed -- world indoor champion MeLisa Barber in 11.25 and Stephanie Durst in 11.27. World champion Lauryn Williams was sixth in 11.40.
American Sanya Richards, runner-up at the 2005 world championships in Helsinki, Finland, also stayed in contention for a share of the Golden League prize, winning the 400 in 50.18.
American Jeremy Wariner posted the second-fastest time this season in the 400, winning in 44.20.