Powell says he can break Athens record

Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell believes he can better his 100 meters world record of 9.77 seconds, set in Athens last June, but isn’t prepared to say when. Powell arrived in Melbourne yesterday to prepare for next month’s Commonwealth Games, happy to be fit and competing after overcoming a groin injury that ruled him out of last year’s world championships. «I am still the fastest man on earth,» Powell said. «Yes, I can [go faster than 9.77 seconds] but I’m not sure when I can. I haven’t been doing so much speed work so I’m not sure about the time [he might run in Melbourne].» A gold medal in Melbourne would be Powell’s first at a major event. His only medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games was a silver in the 4x100m relay. He was disqualified in the quarterfinals of the 2003 world championships for a second false start and finished fifth at the 2004 Athens Olympics. «Since I was injured, I’ve been working hard, trying to get better to come to these Games,» he said. «This is really important to me. I just want to get [the comeback] over with. The only thing I have to prove is that I’m better and ready to run.» Prior to Powell’s record-breaking effort in Athens last year, American Maurice Greene had set a new record on the same track six years earlier with a 9.79-second time. That record stood for more than three years. (AP, Kathimerini)