Powell, Gay to square off in the 100

Friday, September 8th 2006, 12:43 pm
By: News On 6

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) _ Asafa Powell wants to break his 100-meter world record. He thinks Tyson Gay can help him do it.

``He can push me a lot more,'' the Jamaican sprinter said Friday on the eve of the two-day World Athletics Final in Stuttgart.

Powell is unbeaten this year in the 100, and puts the streak on the line Saturday in a field that includes the top American runner.

``He's finishing very strongly, and if I get careless he'll get me at the finish,'' Powell said.

Gay said he needs a great start out of the blocks to have a chance.

``To beat Asafa Powell, I need to have more confidence in my race and focus on the first 50 meters,'' he said.

Powell has run twice against Gay at Golden League meets this season, winning both times. Their last meeting was at Berlin ISTAF meet on Sunday.

The men's sprint has been tainted by the positive testosterone test of Olympic and world champion Justin Gatlin, who shares the world record of 9.77 seconds with Powell. Gatlin faces a ban of up to eight years.

Powell wants to go faster after twice running 9.77 this year.

``Before, I wasn't training seriously, but this year I am working hard,'' he said. ``I've set a big goal for myself and that's where I am going.''

Powell saw a Munich doctor after feeling a ``bit sore'' following his win at the Berlin ISTAF meet on Sunday, but said he's fine.

The Jamaican came close to losing in Brussels last month when he got off to a terrible start out of the blocks. But he caught up with the field and still won in 9.99.

``It gave me a big boost,'' he said. ``I can lose a couple of meters and still come back and beat them.''

By winning all six Golden League races through the season, Powell was one of three athletes who earned $250,000. To collect the bonus, Powell had to show up in Stuttgart.

The $3 million weekend purse will reward anyone setting a world record at the Gottlieb-Daimler Stadium with $130,000.