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Bolt, Powell clash today

marciadottin, [email protected]

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PARIS – Today’s IAAF Diamond League men’s 100 metres will be the season’s first head-to-head meeting of Jamaican sprint icons Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell. The 23-year-old Bolt has dominated the contests since taking over Powell’s world record and now that he is not 100 per cent fit, Powell may seize the chance to gain a rare triumph over his compatriot.But the speed merchant has his sights set firmly on continuing his winning streak which extends over two years now.“I’m looking forward to run 9.7 based from what I did in Lausanne [last Thursday]. I ran 9.82 there in pretty good conditions, but when you know that the competition level is higher, you can expect a better time,” said the double sprint Olympic and world champion. Bolt headlines the Meeting AREVA, set for the famous Stade De France venue on the outskirts of the French capital, Paris. The world record holder in the 100 and 200 metres, Bolt set the venue record of 9.79 seconds in unfavourable conditions with unseasonably cool temperatures and a slight drizzle last year. Before injuring his Achilles tendon, he clocked 9.86 at his season’s debut in Daegu in May but returned to the track in Lausanne last Thursday where he gingerly ran to a world-equalling time of 9.82 seconds. Powell ran a similar time in Rome last month June. Despite his winning return last week, Bolt said he was not yet back to top form but felt good enough to perform. “I’m in good shape. I’m not yet 100 percent, maybe 80 per cent. As long as I’m running in a straight lane, it’s good,” he said, referring to his doctor’s orders to avoid running curves which has ruled him out of the 200m events. “The last time I spoke to my coach and my doctor, they told me not to run the turn for two weeks, and they said that maybe there won’t be any more 200m races for me this season.”Bolt will face one of the strongest fields of the Diamond League season when he lines up against Powell, Olympic silver medallist Trinidadian Richard Thompson and Antiguan Daniel Bailey. (CMC)