ibnlive » Sports

Sep 23, 2006 at 04:05pm IST

Asafa Powell hopes to end own record

Tokyo: World record holder Asafa Powell is aiming to run under 9.7 seconds for the 100 metres next season after enjoying an electrifying year on the track.

The Jamaican is on a 23-race winning streak and equalled his world record of 9.77 seconds in Gateshead in June at part of a season when he has recorded 12 legal sub-10 second runs.

"There were times this year when I know I could have gone faster," Powell said on Saturday, a day before his final race of the year in Yokohama. "When I ran 9.77 for the second time I was cruising. If I'd known I was going that fast I would have really pushed it. All I see now is room for improvement."

READY TO STRIKE LIGHTNING: Powell hopes to do a 9.76 or even 9.6 second run next season.

Powell added: "I would really, really, really love to do 9.6 seconds. Maybe at next year's world championships in Japan."

Olympic and world champion Justin Gatlin had shared the record with Powell but the American has been banned, pending an arbitration hearing, after a positive test for testosterone in April.

Powell was diplomatic about Gatlin's positive drugs test, admitting only that it had come as a shock. "I was very surprised," he said before Sunday's Super Track and Field meeting. "It was the last thing I was expecting and it was very disappointing for that to happen."

When informed Gatlin held the current meet record of 9.97 seconds in Yokohama, Powell gave a derisory snort. "I will be aiming for something a lot better than that," the 23-year-old smiled. "Maybe 9.77 again. Maybe 9.76. I want to run a very fast race in my last race of the season."