Gay to meet Powell in 100 meters

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> American Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell of Jamaica are set to square off against each other again in the 100 meters at the DN Gala athletics meet on Friday.

Updated: July 30, 2009 16:16 IST
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American Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell of Jamaica are set to square off against each other again in the 100 meters at the DN Gala athletics meet on Friday.

In their last head-to-head meeting in Rome this month, Gay posted the fastest time of the year in 9.77 seconds. Powell was second in 9.88.

Three other American sprinters _ Travis Padgett, Darvis Patton and Rae Edwars _ have entered Friday's race.

Gay won gold medals in the 100, 200 and the 4x100-meter relay with the American team at the 2007 worlds, but he did not compete in Stockholm last year after a series of injuries. Gay won the 200-meter race at the London Grand Prix in 20.00 seconds this past weekend, but then needed pain killers to numb an aching groin.

"This is my last race before the world championships, so it's very important," said Gay, who is seen as one of the leading challengers to world record-holder Usain Bolt in Berlin next month.

"The (Olympic Stadium) track is fast, but the fans and conditions are the reasons for world records," added Gay. "I'm sure everyone is lining up to run their personal best as myself."

Powell is attempting to become only the second man in history to post more than 50 sub-10 second results in the 100. Maurice Greene of the United States tops the all-time list with 53.

A former world record-holder, Powell won last year's race in Stockholm in 9.88, edging eventual Olympic champion and fellow Jamaican Bolt by a hundredth of a second.

That was Powell's third straight win at the Olympic Stadium. In 2007, he won in 10.04. A year earlier, he set the stadium record of 9.86.

Every athlete who sets a new stadium record will earn a 1-carat diamond worth $10,000 (euro6,300).

"It's exciting to come to a meet where they award a special gift like the diamond for a stadium record," Gay said.

Steven Hooker of Australia, who won the pole vault gold in last year's Beijing Olympics, also wants a diamond.

"I believe if the conditions are good (Russian) Rodion Gataullin's 20-year-old stadium record (5.95) is achieveable," Hooker said.

Two others in the pole vault field have cleared more than six meters _ 2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson of the United States and Paul Burgess, another Australian.

Among other Olympic champions competing are Jeremy Wariner of the United States, Yurij Borzakowski and Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia, Dayron Robles of Cuba and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway.

Wariner is looking for his fourth straight win in the 400. His stadium record of 43.50 earned him a diamond in 2007.

Stockholm's Olympic Stadium was built for the 1912 Olympic Games and has seen 83 world records set, more than at any other venue in the world.

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