October 21, 2020

Jamaica will own London says Powell

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Asafa Powell won the 50m at the US Open indoor athletics meeting, then predicted the powerful Jamaican sprint squad could sweep the 100m podium at the London Olympics.

“Yes, it is very possible,” Powell said on Saturday, after clocking 5.64sec to win the 50m at Madison Square Garden. Powell crossed the finish line, edging compatriot Nesta Carter who was second in 5.67sec.

American Trell Kimmons was third in 5.68, followed by compatriot Justin Gatlin in 5.71.

“Surely it (a Jamaican Olympic sweep) can be done,” said Powell, a former world record-holder whose career has been overshadowed by countryman Usain Bolt, with yet another Jamaican, Yohan Blake, rising to prominence last year and gaining the No. 1 world ranking over 100m.

”We have some amazing runners,” added Powell, who was making his first indoor appearance since 2004.

“Nothing’s ever certain. Not even for Usain Bolt. To run this well this early in the season is very promising. I’m very fit right now. But I’m still not fast.”

Despite his modesty, Powell’s time was not far off the world mark of 5.56sec, achieved by both Canada’s Donovan Bailey and American Maurice Greene in the rarely contested event.

Jamaica’s women are gearing up for big things at the London Games as well.

Veronica Campbell-Brown won the women’s 50m in 6.08, in what she said was a stepping-stone performance for her bid to win a third consecutive Olympic 200m gold at London.

US hurdler Lolo Jones is hoping to put injury woes behind her and engineer a solid 2012 campaign.

Jones was the tough-luck athlete of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, leading the women’s 100m hurdles final over the first eight hurdles before crashing into the ninth. She barely got over the 10th, and wound up seventh.

Now she is back on track, having overcome the rigors of spinal surgery last summer.

She got a boost from a victory in the women’s 50m hurdles in 6.78sec, ahead of Britain’s Tiffany Porter (6.83) and American Kellie Wells (6.84).

“My body’s adjusting,” Jones said. “Every day I see progress. This was my first race ever at Madison Square Garden, so it’s a great place to win.”

The meeting at the storied venue is a new event backed by USA Track and Field, after the venerable Millrose Games meeting was moved this year by organizers to a more modern arena elsewhere in New York.

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