Go indoors Asafa, says Cuthbert
Double Olympic silver medallist Juliet Cuthbert is suggesting that Asafa Powell add some indoor races to his 2016 season. Cuthbert believes some indoor action would complement Powell's projected reduction of outdoor races in the period leading up to next year's Olympic Games. She believes a few races at 60 and 200 metres will help him.
"Normally, he wouldn't race a lot before a major championship," Cuthbert analysed, "so I'm not sure if he's going to choose just three races instead of possibly six." Powell, now 33, actually had five races between the Jamaican Championships and the World Championships, reeling off times of 9.81, 9.92, 9.87, 9.87, and 10.01 seconds.
"But I think whenever you cut back," Cuthbert continued, "it always helps you as long as you have a strong indoor season."
Powell was injured indoors in 2004 and only returned to the early season undercover circuit in 2012. This year, he ran 6.52 seconds for an indoor 60 metres race in January. In February, he withdrew from a follow-up race in Ireland with a minor bout of groin trouble.
Understandably, Cuthbert isn't recommending a heavy indoor schedule for Powell.
"Jump into some 200 metres races, maybe two, and possibly, maybe three 60m races," she suggested while noting how good a starter he has always been.
From Cuthbert's viewpoint, the intensity of his indoor racing depends on how well his background training goes. If it goes well, she proposed, "he should be quite fine to run a few indoor meets and then cut back on the outdoor with the races".
Overall, Powell ran in 13 outdoor meets in 2015 and sped to 10 clockings under 10 seconds.
Even though the 2007 and 2009 World Championships 100m bronze medal winner has run in three Olympic finals without reaching the podium, Cuthbert isn't writing him off her medal projections. She believes he was more confident and relaxed this year.
"Next year," she speculated, "he might be even more confident going in, even though he didn't get an individual medal this season.
"So who knows what can happen next year?" she said.