Powell wants another stab at 100 world record


STUTTGART, Germany (AP) - Asafa Powell will get another shot at regaining the world record in the 100 meters at the World Athletics Final this weekend.

After five races in eight days, however, Powell may not have enough left to challenge his Jamaican countryman Usain Bolt's 9.69-second mark set at the Beijing Olympics.

Still, Powell has ran well in the past at the two-day event, which offers US$6 million (euro4.3 million) in prize money at the conclusion of the season.

Bolt is skipping the final, although this weekend's competition in Stuttgart will be followed by several more meets.

It is the final time Stuttgart will stage the final.

The stadium is being turned into a football arena and will lose the track.

The 100-meter race is on Saturday and Powell is one of the headliners of the weekend.

The Jamaican has won the dash in three straight finals, each time lowering the meet record: 9.98 in 2004, 9.89 in 2006 and 9.83 last year.

Stuttgart hosted the event the last two years.

Powell has the highest number of sub 9.8 times (seven) and also highest ever number of sub 9.9s (22), and second highest number of sub 10s (46, only Maurice Greene has more with 51) in his career.

This year alone, counting the qualifying heats, Powell has run the 100 under 10 seconds on 13 occasions.

As impressive as his record is, Powell failed when it mattered, fading to fifth at the Olympics when Bolt set his amazing record without even pushing all the way.

Powell bounced back somewhat when he matched the second fastest time in history by clocking 9.72 in Lausanne on Sept. 2.

He won four of his last five races, losing only to Bolt in Brussels one week ago.With no heats in Stuttgart and with weather playing along, Powell could threaten Bolt's record.

A bonus of US$100,000 (euro71,000) is on offer for any world record along with the first-place prize of $30,000 (euro21,500), and this could be another incentive for Powell to make one more big effort.

Blanka Vlasic may also be looking for some financial compensation for a season that included two bitter disappointments.

The Croatian high jumper won 35 of her last 37 competitions - but the losses came at the worst time possible, at the Olympics and at the Golden League final in Brussels, which cost her US$500,000 (euro350,000), what would have been her share of the jackpot had she won her event that day.

Vlasic will face the two women who spoiled her perfect record, Tia Hellebaut of Belgium, who won the Olympic gold and Ariane Friedrich of Germany, who won in Brussels.

Yelena Isinbayeva, the Russian pole vault star, could be aiming for another world record, after clearing 5.05 meters to earn the gold medal in Beijing.

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