Asafa Powell tips Bolt to bounce back
DAEGU, August , 2011 - Asafa Powell met the press in the sophisticated Italian restaurant Nuovo, the Daegu headquarters of Chinese sportswear company Li Ning, his technical sponsor since last year.
The meeting was organised by AIPS following the signing of an agreement of cooperation between Li Ning and the International Sports Press Association last month in Lausanne.
The news of Usain Bolt's disqualification continued to elicit reaction from his countryman.
"I was surprised and shocked like everyone else," said Powell, the fastest man this season on Usain Bolt's shock disqualification from the 100m race on Sunday at the Daegu stadium.
"It was the last thing anyone expected, " the sprinter added.
Powell whose 9.78 sec is the fastest over the distance was expected to challenge for the title but had to put to rest his world title ambitions when he was ruled out last Thursday with a groin injury he has been struggling with for almost a month before the Championships began.
"I was watching it on TV from the village and I was actually playing the race out in my mind," he explained.
"I think it was just anxiety and Usain trying to get the fly early because he is not in the best shape of his life," he opined.
"If you really look back at the replay, you can see Blake moving a little bit before the start. Bolt was watching Blake because most likely he was sure that his training companion was the real danger for him. And the move could have caused him to explode."
"I kept playing the race in my head after the semis. I didn't know who to pick -- Bolt, Blake or Nester because Blake looked awesome, and Bolt looked great -- it was hard to decide," recalled the 28-year-old former World record holder.
But did he at one point wish things were different and that he was on the blocks on Sunday?
"It's always good to race the best – such as the world champion because even Blake didn't really beat Usain," he replied casually as he chatted to AIPS members over lunch hosted near the stadium by Frank Chen, Li Ning's head of marketing.
Powell tipped that Bolt, stung by the disqualification, would bounce back in the 200m on Friday where he will also be looking to defend his Berlin 200m World championship title.
"Bolt is going to give his best at this event and will be more focused, as if there's no one beside him. He surely will give his best," Powell reckons.
Asafa Powell is also racing against time and hoping that he could be fit enough to run at least one leg, the first or the second, of his Jamaican team's 4x100m sprint relay, but only in the final not to risk to be injured again.
"I will see how I feel on Thursday. If am not (fit) I won't risk it, because I still feel a bit of pain."