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Asafa Powell: biography

Asafa Powell is a Jamaican sprinter. He's the former world record holder and is still the third fastest man of all time. He has never won an individual Gold at either the World Championships or the Olympics but could 2011 and 2012 be his years?

Beginnings

Born November 23rd 1982 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, he originally thought about becoming a mechanic while studying in Kingston before turning to sprinting. In 2000 he represented his school at the ISSA High School Championships in the 100 and 200 meters. His times of 11.45 & 23.07 seconds weren't enough to see him progress on from the first round but by then the track and field bug had bit him. The next year he competed again in the same championships and improved his times. This time around he was watched by Stephen Francis who saw the talent in him and offered to coach Powell. He is to this day still his coach.

Career

In 2002 Asafa represented Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. He made the semi finals of the 100m finishing 5th in his race with a personal best of 10.26 seconds. At the same games as part of the Jamaican
4 x 100m sprint relay team he came home with the silver medal. In 2003 he competed at his first World Championships but was disqualified for a false start in the quarter finals. The relay team didn't fare any better making it to the final but not getting the baton round to Asafa on the final leg. In 2004 he went to the Athens Olympics as one of the favourites after running a 9.91 seconds in the Jamaican National Championships. After qualifying for the final easily he could only manage 5th place with a time of 9.94 seconds. Later that year he set a new personal best of 9.87 in Brussels. In 2005 he set his first World Record with a time of 9.77 seconds in Athens. In 2006 he competed again at the Commonwealth Games this time coming home from Melbourne with the Gold Medal. That same year he equaled his own world record and in 2007 improved it even further in Italy where he ran
9.74 seconds. At the Beijing Olympics he finished 5th in the final watching Usain Bolt run away with the title, he did however anchor the team home for gold in the relay. His sights are now firmly set in Daegu 2011 where only a World Record is likely to beat Bolt or Gay.

Achievements

Olympics - Gold / relay Beijing
Commonwealth Games - Gold / 100m & relay Melbourne
World Championships - Gold / Relay Berlin

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