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'We've 36 seconds in mind' - Bolt, Powell target 4x1 world record

Published:Sunday | July 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica's sprinters Usain Bolt (left) and Asafa Powell laugh during a Jamaica Olympic Association-organised press briefing in London on Thursday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

LONDON, England:

Two of Jamaica's biggest sprinting stars, Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt - the men who anchored Jamaica to 4x100m relay world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and last year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea - believe that Jamaica can lower the record regardless of the team's order.

Powell led Jamaica to a blistering 37.10 seconds in Beijing along with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Bolt, while the latter was on the anchor leg in Daegu, powering the team to 37.04 seconds with Yohan Blake, Carter and Frater on the other legs.

Powell had earlier announced that he would not be participating at the World Championships because of injury.

With the pair expected to be joined by Blake and either Carter or Frater, and with a strong US team also in the hunt, many are expecting the
Jamaicans to become the first team in history to dip below 37 seconds in
the 4x100m relay, and Powell believes it's possible, while making it
clear that he and his teammates are not too bothered by any other

"We can definitely go lower than 37 seconds,"
said Powell with authority. "We are running against the clock, we are
not focusing on anyone, we know we have the team to do something

"We have 36 seconds in mind, but we have to
get the stick around, and once we get it around we can definitely break
the record," Powell added.

Powell and Bolt noted that
they would be quite comfortable to run whichever leg is deemed best for
the team, with Bolt once again stating that under the right
circumstances he would consider also running the 4x400m for his

Said Powell, "Once I'm on the team I am fine;
first, second, third, fourth leg, doesn't matter, once I'm on that team
I will be fine."

"Over the years, I have run a couple
of the legs," Bolt chipped in. "I've run the third leg in Beijing
because that was the best place for me on the team, so it all depends on
what is needed from me and what's necessary, because at the end of the
day you want to win and to run as fast as

Bolt added: "For the 4x400m, I don't know,
it's always a case at championships where, if I feel like I am up to it,
then why not? If I still feel good after the 100m and 200m and I'm in
peak condition, if push comes to shove for my country I would do it if
it's necessary."

Jamaica have won the men's 4x100m at
the last three major track and field championships - Beijing Olympics,
2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin and the 2011 IAAF World
Championships in Daegu.