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Sep 10, 2007 at 01:57pm IST

Powell blazes to new 100 metres world record

Rieti (Italy): Asafa Powell showed he had recovered from his disappointing third place at the world championships by breaking his 100 metres world record with a time of 9.74 seconds on Sunday.

The Jamaican Commonwealth champion set the record in his heat at the Rieti IAAF Grand Prix and then went on to win the final in 9.78.

"It is a very fast record. It is to remind my friends that Asafa is still here," he told reporters.

BACK WITH A BANG: Powell broke his own world record of 9.77 seconds set thrice before.

Powell had previously shared the record of 9.77 with American Olympic champion Justin Gatlin, who has been banned for doping pending the result of an arbitration hearing.

At the Osaka world championships last month, Powell finished third in the final behind American Tyson Gay and Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas.

The 24-year-old said at the time he had given up during the Osaka race but would make amends by breaking his world record before the end of the year.

"I've been with my coach and working hard to get back to normal," Powell said on Sunday. "The last 40 metres were very strong. I executed it and did what I came to do today."

The Jamaican, who won silver in the 100 relay in Osaka as Gay and the US team took gold, has never won a global title.

He was disqualified for a false start in the quarter-finals of the 2003 world championships after setting the fastest time of 10.05 in the heats.

Powell finished fifth in the 2004 Olympic final behind Gatlin before missing the 2005 worlds through injury. However, he won the Commonwealth 100 metres title in Melbourne in 2006.

Powell initially set his previous record of 9.77 in Athens in June 2005 and went on to equal the time in June and August last year.

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