Asafa Powell has climbed back into the spotlight as Jamaica’s leading male sprinter, partly because of injury to Usain Bolt, but mainly because of the transformation that he has been through since switching training camps.
Guided by his brother Donovan, Asafa says he is in the best shape of his life and after shrugging off a persistent groin injury that has plagued him for years, the “Sub-10 King” is ready for what promises to be a very special year.
Powell, who is the leading Jamaican this season, clocked his 87th legal sub ten seconds run with 9.81 seconds at Meeting Areva in Paris last Saturday. He imperiously dismissed the likes of Nesta Carter, USA’s Mike Rodgers and the French man Jimmy Vicaut.
This left one commentator saying, “Asafa Powell....And if he could only get his head right... championship can be his.”
Gone now are the questioning eyes, replaced by bravado and immense self confidence and today, at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, when he lines up in the men’s 100m against two of America’s best sprinters, Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell gets the chance to prove that he is now the real deal, that his head is right.
At the pre-race press conference Powell dismissed the suggestions of reporters that Gatlin is unbeatable with impunity, stating, “I don’t know who you guys think he is, he is like the fifth fastest man in the world so I don’t know why you think he can’t be beaten.
“I have been running quite well this season and running very fast so for tomorrow (today) I expect to run fast just the same.”
“Ready for tomorrow…I’m cool, calm and confident.”
Only Gatlin (9.74) has run faster that Powell (9.81) this year and with just over a month to go before the World Championships in Beijing, China this race will be the perfect marker for the world’s top sprinters.
Meanwhile back home in his native Jamaica, Powell continues to receive tremendous support from his legion of fans, who have been out in their numbers on social media:
“Easy like Sunday morning. You got this locked Safa !!” posted one user.
“Gm my champ. That's the way it should be all time. Confidence buckkkkk. The Lord is with u. It's already done,” another user posted.
The anticipation is high and the excitement is at fever pitch for what promises to be the 100m race of the season so far.