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'Bolt's records will be hard to beat'

Jamaica Gleaner / Asafa Powell, the former holder of the 100 metres world record, believes that it will be hard to break the world sprint marks held by his illustrious Jamaican teammate Usain Bolt.

Powell, who was speaking last week in India, says Bolt’s third lowering of the 100-metre record – to 9.58 seconds – was a great race. His opinion concurs with the view expressed early this year by another former world record holder, Donovan Bailey of Canada,

“It will be very difficult to break these two records,” offered the 33-year-old Powell. Like the world record for 200 metres, Bolt set the current 100 metres standard at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, with Powell getting third place.

“I was pretty much the best starter in the world and he was already ahead of me at the start,” Powell recalled.

Contrary to the general perception of the tall man from Trelawny being slow from the blocks, Bolt led the field from the very first step. He clocked 6.31 seconds at the 60-metre mark, which is superior to the world indoor record for 60 metres of 6.39.

“So, he had a great race,” he said admiringly. “It’s going to be very hard for someone to come and match that run,” he stated.

Powell set the world record at 9.77 seconds in 2005, equalled it twice before trimming it to 9.74 in 2007. Bolt accelerated that to 9.72 seconds before the 2008 Olympics and won the gold medal there with a miraculous run of 9.69 seconds.

RECORDS LIKELY TO STAND “I would say it is likely to stand for a very long time,” he concluded of the 9.58 clocking. He did allow that the 100m record was slightly more vulnerable. “I feel the 9.58 is more likely to be broken,” he continued.

The all-time performance list has the joint second-fastest 100-metre men alive, Jamaica’s Yohan Blake and American Tyson Gay, tied at 9.69 seconds while Blake’s personal best at 200 metres of 19.26 is closer to the Bolt world record of 19.19 seconds. Though Powell has a 200-metre personal best of 19.90 seconds and qualified for the 2004 200-metre Olympic final, he thinks Bolt’s world record in the curved sprint is astounding. “19.19secs in 200m is ridiculous,” Powell said.

Earlier in the year, Bailey, the Olympic 100-metre champion in 1996, said the world records will stand for a long time. Bailey, who set a world record to win his Olympic gold medal, said: “Bolt has set the current bar high for sprinters and someone will be along to break his records in the far, far future.”

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