Many thought Asafa Powell’s career might be winding down after he crossed the line in 10.22 seconds at Jamaican trials last week, well behind Usain Bolt and a host of young compatriots. But Powell said he had an off day, and is confident he can return to form in Ostrava on Thursday.
“I knew what happened at the Jamaican trials,” Powell told reporters in Ostrava Wednesday. “I am not worried about that. I didn’t run what I want to and expect from myself. I wasn’t race ready. It was not my day. A time of 9.99s, which was enough to qualify for the World Championships in Moscow, is like walking in a forest for me.”
Bolt won’t be at the race this week, nor will 2013’s two fastest men, Americans Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin. But Powell still faces an experienced field that includes Mike Rodgers – who already ran 9.96 this season – as well as veterans Kim Collins, Jimmy Vicaut, Dwain Chambers, and defending world junior champ Adam Gemili of Great Britain. And Powell knows running another 10.22 against that field won’t cut it:
“It is very important to run under 10s. If you cannot make it, you cannot be in the top group. That is also huge motivation for me. I am in good shape now, and I have always been running very fast in Ostrava.”
Amy Purdy made her name as a snowboardcross bronze medalist at the Sochi Paralympics and runner-up on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2014.
In September, she’ll combine both.
Purdy will perform as a dancer in the Rio Paralympic Opening Ceremony on Sept. 7, in addition to being an NBC reporter during the Games.
She was told her performance will be four to five minutes. On “Dancing with the Stars,” her performances were about 90 seconds, she said. She traveled to Rio for a week of rehearsals in July.
Purdy, 36, survived bacterial meningitis in 1999 but lost both her legs and later needed a kidney from her father at age 20.
“I’m most excited about the concept of this dance,” Purdy said. “Just the idea of man versus machine. A lot of times we feel really limited because of our prosthetics. But this dance, hopefully, will kind of shatter those borders a little bit and allow me to move my body in a way I haven’t done before.”
Purdy is an innovator. She built her own snowboard and is seen as instrumental in getting her sport into the Paralympic program beginning in 2014.
A model, she’s been in a Madonna music video, a Super Bowl commercial, ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue and competed on “The Amazing Race” in 2012.
MORE: Rio Paralympic broadcast schedule
Lindsey Vonn‘s episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” will air on NBC on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.
From NBC Universal:
“After roaring across crystal-clear waters in a speedboat, Bear and Lindsey must strip down and swim to shore before inching their way along the rugged coastline. After rappelling down a sheer rock wall, the two get inventive and use a spear-gun to traverse a hundred-foot deep chasm. With the sun setting, they collect a dinner of sea urchins and Bear challenges Lindsey to a swimming competition with hilarious results. Along the way Lindsey shares her journey of love, Olympic glory, and displays the focus and determination that has made her one of the most successful female athletes of all time.”
Vonn is returning from a Feb. 27 crash that left her with three significant left knee fractures.
With 76 career World Cup wins, she is 10 shy of the record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark.
MORE: Lindsey Vonn wants to race men, retire in 2019