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Gold or not, Asafa says he'll be remembered as a great

Published:Wednesday | September 14, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Asafa Powell addresses reporters during a press conference to announce his decision to withdraw from the 100 metres at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Former 100m world record holder, Asafa Powell, is certain that after retirement he will be remembered as one of the greatest sprinters in history - whether or not he manages to secure a global title.

Powell, who has registered the most sub-10 seconds times over the distance by any sprinter, with close to 80 to his credit, has said recently that he is running out of time in his ambition to claim an Olympic or World Championships gold medal over 100m.

The Jamaican, who will celebrate his 29th birthday in a matter of weeks, won bronze medals at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships in Osaka and Berlin, respectively.

Powell, who also has a Commonwealth Games 100m gold medal to his name, was also a part of Jamaica's gold medal-winning 4x100m relay teams from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and also the 2009 Berlin World Championships.

However, with next year's Olympic Games in London and the 2013 World Championships scheduled for Moscow seen by most as the sprinter's swansong, Powell maintains that gold medal or not, his accomplishments in the sport already makes him a 'great'.

"If I don't finish my career with a global title I would definitely be disappointed, but I will finish my career as one of the best sprinters to have ever touched the track, and that's still something to be happy about," said Powell, in response to The Gleaner during a press conference at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, where he was forced to withdraw because of injury.

Powell admitted that he was frustrated by his injury situation, and also mentioned that fate may be playing a part in his inability to face the major championships in the best condition and cop that elusive gold medal.

"I'm very frustrated, but over the years when I have been injured I kept going and going and this won't stop me, I will do everything to work my way back," Powell said.

"I think about it when it comes to the big one there is always something that hinders me, but it's just life, we have to just live with it and hope for the best the next time around," Powell added. "It's all up to God and if it's his will I will get it (gold medal)."

Powell, who finished behind world champion Yohan Blake in their recent clash in Zurich, is now focusing his energy towards next year's Olympic Games, where he is hoping to break his gold-medal drought.

"I am definitely motivated to really come back and prove to the world that I can run fast, and run fast under pressure, and that I am here, and here to stay," Powell said.