Saturday, 2 April 2011

Diamond League/Asafa Powell/Gay and Powell to race at British Diamond League meets

London: Former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell and ex-world champion Tyson Gay will meet at this year's Diamond League events in Birmingham and London, organisers said in a statement on Friday.

American Gay won by 0.02 seconds over the Jamaican in Gateshead last year and they will clash again on July 10th in Birmingham and at the Aug. 5-6 Crystal Palace meeting.

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World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt is likely to miss both events, due mainly to British tax rules on promotional earnings that the Jamaican blamed for his absence last year.

Powell will however face his compatriot in the Rome Diamond League meeting on May 26, while Gay is also set to compete in the New York equivalent on June 11 as the trio prepare for the world championships in South Korea in August and September.

"This year is most definitely about preparing for the world championships and these two meets (London and Birmingham) will be an important part in that process," Powell said.

"Going head-to-head with Tyson last year in Gateshead reminded us of the great rivalry we have had over the years and I'm not scared to put myself up against him; we drive each other on," Powell, 28, added in the organisers' statement.

The Birmingham meeting is the ninth event of this year's 14-race Diamond League series that starts in Doha on May 6 and it replaces last year's Gateshead event, although it is London that provides Powell with his fondest memories.

"I have only run in Birmingham once before, but if it is like London I know there will be a lot of Jamaican fans coming to support us. It's because of this support that running in the UK always feels like being at home."

The gold medallist in the 4 x 100 metres relay at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 ran the fastest time on British soil five years ago in Gateshead, clocking 9.77 seconds.

Bureau Report
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