Powell remains motivated, eyes strong 2018 season
While underscoring the importance of inspiring the next generation of athletics stars, veteran Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell confirmed that he has no plans to hang up his spikes just yet and is eyeing next year's Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Powell was an ambassador for the UBS Zurich Kids Cup and spent yesterday signing autographs for and encouraging hundreds of young Swiss athletes at the Letzigrund Stadium along with other world stars such as Bahamas's Shaunae Miller-Uibo.
The former world record holder believes that it's imperative that the kids be introduced to the sport at the earliest possible stage to ensure its continued growth across the world.
"I feel really good doing these kids' clinics because I love inspiring the youth," Powell told The Sunday Gleaner. "Doing this is very important for maintaining interest in the sport. I have seen a lot of athletes today that I met with in the past and signed autographs for them, and they are now professional athletes, and this is pretty much coming from what we have done in the past for them, inspiring them and motivating them, and we push them to another level, so it's definitely important."
Powell, who, last Thursday, competed in his first race in two months after an Achilles injury suffered during the National Senior Championships in June, clocked a very encouraging 10.11 seconds time in the men's 100m at the Zurich Diamond League at the same venue.
Buoyed by what he was able to run despite a mere two weeks of meaningful training, Powell is eagerly anticipating the coming season and believes that he has a lot left in the tank.
Not counting the current season, since his professional debut in 2002, Powell has ended the year as either the fastest or second-fastest Jamaican, with the exception of the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
The 34-year-old, who remains on a record 93 sub-10 seconds clocking in the 100m, says that he remains motivated and will continue to push himself.
"I really don't know yet (when I will retire). Everyone keeps telling me to go on until I can't go anymore. I will continue to give it my best," Powell shared.
"I still have some work to do. It (getting to 100 sub-10 seconds times) keeps me motivated for sure. If I get to 100 this year, then next year, I will just be coasting, so I need to really do some work next year to ensure I even get to 110 (sub-10s)," added Powell.
"This race (Zurich Diamond League 100m) just sets me up for the next one. I pray to God that next year I don't get any more of these injuries. Achilles is one of the worst injuries to get. I would never wish it on my worst enemy," he added before confirming his interest in the Commonwealth Games.
"Am I considering the Commonwealth Games? Definitely! I don't see why not. There isn't much going on next year either, so I would definitely want to go to the Commonwealth Games," said Powell, who won Commonwealth gold at the 2006 Melbourne Games.