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Crystal Palace - athletics grand prix


Joint 100m world record holder Asafa Powell and 200m sensation Xavier Carter are promising fast times at Friday's Norwich Union London Grand Prix.

Conditions in Crystal Palace are expected to be good for sprinting and both say they are in prime shape too.

"I've come here to run the best of my ability and I intend to go under 10 seconds," said Powell.

"I'm planning to break 20 seconds again," said Carter. "It will be another fast night for sprinting."

Powell's season turned sour at last year's event at Crystal Palace when he fell to the track with a groin injury that ended his World title hopes.

The Jamaican's arch-rival Justin Gatlin, with whom he shares the world record, went on to win the race in a stadium record of 9.89 seconds.


I will not put the burden on myself to be Michael Johnson or Jesse Owens, I just want to be like myself

Xavier Carter

With Gatlin sidelined by a leg injury, Powell is back intent on shattering that mark and the Commonwealth champion is not ruling out another world-record time.

"I don't know if it will be a world record occasion," Powell told BBC Sport.

"I sometimes surprise people when they least expect it and so that might happen again.

"I honestly don't know what to expect but I do know that I will run pretty fast.

"There will be a lot of Jamaican supporters in London and fans are a big help to me when I'm running. I just want to go out there and make people happy."

Carter, who clocked 19.63 seconds - the second fastest 200m of all time - in Lausanne earlier this month, also has a world record on his mind.

The 20-year-old American is chasing Michael Johnson's 200m mark of 19.32, which he set at the Atlanta Olympics 10 years ago.

Johnson and Carter have been moving in the same circles in London but beyond pleasantries the matter of the record has not been discussed.

Carter said: "I was aware of Johnson's record when he set it but I didn't watch it on TV because I was doing so many sports at the time.

"I feel his record is in reach, I can get near it even if I can't beat it yet.
British triple jumper Phillips Idowu

"I'm not going to count my chickens before they're hatched.

"I will not put the burden on myself to be Michael Johnson or Jesse Owens, I just want to be like myself."

Up against Powell in the 100m are European stars Francis Obikwelu and Ronald Pognon but Britain's Dwain Chambers pulled out on Friday after failing to recover from a thigh injury.

Carter is expecting to get pulled along by a quality 200m field which includes world silver medallist Wallace Spearmon, Tyson Gay and Britain's Marlon Devonish.

A stellar line-up at the London Grand Prix will also see World and Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner take on Britain's Tim Benjamin.

World and Olympic 10,000m champion Kenenisa Bekele faces Augustine Choge, Craig Mottram and Bernard Lagat in the 5,000m.

In the women's 3,000m, Ethiopian rivals Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar go head-to-head while Jo Pavey represents British interests.

Away from the track, the men's triple jump features Olympic champion Christian Olsson, who is expected to recover from a stomach bug in time, and Britain's Commonwealth champion Phillips Idowu.

In the pole vault, Yelena Isinbayeva returns to the arena where she cleared five metres last season, becoming the first woman to do so.

The London Grand Prix also represents the last chance to impress for British athletes who are still seeking selection for the European Championships.

Long jumper Jade Johnson is among those aiming to meet the qualifying standard in London. The final team selections are expected to be announced by UK Athletics next Tuesday.

The London Grand Prix will be shown live on BBC TWO between 1800-2100 (BST) on 28 July


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