BUDAPEST, Hungary, (CMC) – Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell sent a stern warning to World champion Usain Bolt ahead of next month’s start of the World Championship in Daegu, when he sizzled to 9.86 seconds to win the the 100 metres at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday. Defying windy conditions and dipping temperatures at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium, Powell raced to the fastest time ever run in the central European nation to beat Ngonidzashe Makusha of Zimbabwe into second and Barbadian Andrew Hinds into third.
Only Friday, Bolt continued his warm-up for the defence of this World title when he easily beat his field in the 200 metres in Stockholm.
“I could have gone a lot faster today but I was working on some stuff,” said Powell, who has never won individual gold at a World or Olympic championship.
“It was cold and I was a bit cautious. It was still a good time.”
With American Tyson Gay ruled out of the World Championships, the attention has turned to the showdown between Powell and Bolt.
Powell has been in superb form this season, clocking a world-leading 9.78 seconds in chilly conditions at the Diamond League Athletissima in Lausanne last month.
However, in his only clash with Bolt this season at the IAAF Diamond League in Rome last May, he finished second in 9.93 with Bolt claiming victory in 9.91.
“This is my year and I’ll try my best. We’ll see if it’s enough for a gold medal [at the World Championships],” Powell said.
He was joined in winners’ row on Saturday by Jamaican sprint queen Veronica Campbell-Brown who claimed the 200 metres in 22.26 seconds.
Jamaica-born American sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross was second in 22.63
Campbell-Brown, the reigning Olympic 200 metres champions, finished second at the World Championships in Berlin two years ago.
The World Championships are scheduled to run from August 27 to September 4.