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Jamaican Olympian and former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell said he intends to get to that elusive mark of 100 legal sub-10 times and an Olympic medal before he hangs up his spikes.

Powell, 38, holds the record for most legal sub-10 times in the 100m but wants to extend it for at least another three races as he approaches the twilight of his career. Plagued by injury throughout his career, especially in the past few years, the last time Powell broke the 10-second barrier, his 97th, was in 2016 when he ran 9.92 in Hungary.

However, the four-time Olympian remains undaunted as he vies for a fifth Olympiad this summer.

“The Olympics have been put off until this year but the goal is still the same. It’s just another year and we as athletes know how to prepare and get ourselves ready. My biggest goal this year, apart from the Olympics is getting my next three sub-10s and I want to seal that off and going to the Olympic Games, making it on the podium, that would be a big dream for me,” he said.

To get those sub-10 times, Powell is going to need to compete at meets that are in short supply because of the prevailing conditions.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on track and field in the last 10 months. Meets at all levels have been cancelled across the, including some that had been scheduled for this past weekend. Last season, several Diamond League meetings, as well as lower-tier meets, were either postponed or cancelled outright as the Covid-19 virus raged across the globe.

Powell said athletes will have to find a way to live with the virus until the situation improves.

“We have to learn to adjust to it, learn to compete with no fans, nobody in the stadiums. I think it’s going to be the new norm. Europe is where we compete the most so if there are putting off track meets that means we have to find other alternatives, stay home and compete until the Olympics or whatever it is,” he said.

Should he achieve his goals this season, Powell said he has no immediate plans to retire and will continue competing until his body tells him otherwise.

“The body will tell me. I am just going to keep going. I am not going to go forever, but I am a family man now so I can’t keep running and training forever. After the three sub-10s and the Olympic Games, I will feel a lot more satisfied and then consider if I go another year or just cut it off.” he said.

Source: Leighton Levy

www.sports24ghana.com

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