Asafa Powell of Jamaica running in the second of two heats of the men's 100m at the Rieti Grand Prix meeting - IAAF World Athletics Tour - this afternoon improved his World 100m record with a time of 9.74 seconds (+1.7 m/s wind) *.
1. Powell Asafa JAM 9.74 (WR*)
2. Saidy Ndure Jaysuma NOR 10.07
3. Collins Kim SKN 10.14
HEAT TWO: Click here for Full Result
Our correspondent in Rieti, Diego Sampaolo commented immediately after the race - "What made Powell's feat more sensational was the fact that he made the time in the heats easing up in the final metres, giving the impression that something very special might also be expected in the final later today."
In the final, Powell won in 9.78 (0.0m/s).
FINAL: Click here for Full Result
At the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics last month, Powell finished a disappointing third behind American Tyson Gay and Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas.
Powell's previous World record was 9.77 seconds which he first set on 14 June 2005 in Athens, Greece, a time which he equalled twice last year (Gateshead GBR 11 June 2006 and Zürich SWI 18 August 2006).
QUOTES: Asafa Powell after his 9.74 World record:
“Today I proved to the world that Asafa is back,” confirmed Powell. “I ran easily in my heat (9.74 World rec).
“I made some mistakes in Osaka (World Champs) but today I competed as I normally should do.”
“I was nervous in Osaka because I did not compete much this season (before the champs). I forgot how I should have run in the last 40m of a race.
“I will not say today (World record) was a revenge after (the disappointment of) Osaka. There the expectations were too high. I thought too much about the World record, but I have have done a lot of work in the last two weeks (since the Osaka 100m). I learnt again to run from the start and to be more relaxed.”
“Today I could have run under 9.70. I would have loved to have run 9.68. When I ran 9.77 twice last year I always thought I could have run faster.”
“If I had had a more favourable tail wind in the final (today, 9.78) I could have run faster. The atmosphere was so special. I have a special relationship with Italy as this is where I am based for training each summer.”
*subject to the usual ratfication procedures
Click here for a full Rieti Grand Prix report