GATESHEAD, England, (Reuters) – Asafa Powell attributed his loss to Tyson Gay over 100 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Gateshead yesterday to a poor memory.
The Jamaican, who along with record holder Usain Bolt has the fastest time in the world this year, finished 0.02 seconds behind a strong-finishing Gay after blasting out of the blocks.
“I was pushing through to the line and started to ease up a bit too much. I think I forgot it was Tyson Gay out there,” the former world record holder told reporters.
“In the last 20 to 30 metres I should have ran differently. But he’s a great sprinter and I gave him a chance. I didn’t see him coming. Next time I will.
“I got a great start but I need a strong finish too. Next time I will step it up. I relaxed too soon and he got me on the tape. It’s no set back though because I know what shape I’m in. I know I’ll be ready for Bolt next week (in Paris). I ran 9.96 in a headwind so that’s pretty good.”
World silver medallist Gay was making his first competitive outings of the season over 100 after being hampered by a hamstring problem.
The American showed no lingering effects when comfortably winning his heat in 9.96 before being pushed even faster by rival Powell in the final with a time of 9.94 in front of a half empty stadium..
“It was okay,” Gay said of his season’s best time. “I knew it was going to be a close race. It’s always a close race when I run against Asafa; he’s one of my favourite competitors.
“I really had to stretch to the finish line and he didn’t see me coming today so I got the victory. The hamstring is still tight and that is something I am going to have to work on. But I can race this way all the time.
“As for Bolt — I know he’s ready. He’s coming back from injury but he’ll be prepared.”
World record holder Bolt is also on the comeback from injury but equalled compatriot Powell’s fastest time of the year of 9.82 seconds when winning in Lausanne on Thursday, his first race for six weeks.
The three fastest men in the world have yet to go head-to-head this season but are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Aug. 27.