STOCKHOLM // Asafa Powell took on the world's fastest man with every intention of beating him to the finish line. Usain Bolt just could not catch up in time. Powell capitalised on Bolt's weak start and edged the world record-holder by one-hundredth of a second, leading from start to finish in the 100 metres at the DN Galan meet on Tuesday.
Powell, the former world record-holder, won their highly anticipated rematch in 9.88 seconds. Bolt, who was slow out of the blocks, nearly caught his fellow Jamaican at the finish line. Third went to the Norwegian Jaysuma Saidy Ndure in 10.06. "I was really happy with the race," Powell said. "My goal was to win. My start was quick and fast. And the speed stayed with me through the finish. I'm really looking forward to the Olympics."
The win was a measure of revenge for Powell, after losing to his close friend Bolt at Jamaica's Olympic trials last month. Bolt set the world record of 9.72 in New York on May 31, breaking Powell's mark of 9.74. It was Powell's third straight win at Stockholm's Olympic Stadium. Last year, he won in 10.04. In 2006, he set the stadium record of 9.86. "I needed today's win for my confidence," Powell said. "That is most important in order to get really good times."
Bolt was somber. "I'm disappointed," he said. "My start was not good enough. That was the key tonight. I was also disturbed by the false start. I could not focus at 100 per cent." * AP