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.”
Japan dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu, who abandoned his bid to become the oldest Olympian ever in Rio, could see his career come full circle in four years.
Hoketsu, whose Olympic debut came at the Tokyo 1964 Games, is not ruling out attempting to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at age 79.
“If I can do it and be in Tokyo, that would be marvelous,” Hoketsu said, according to Reuters. “I have to see if it will still be physically possible.”
The oldest Olympian is Swede Oscar Swahn, who earned 1920 Olympic shooting silver at age 72.
Hoketsu, 75 and the oldest Olympian at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, sought to make his fourth Olympic team this year. It was derailed due to his horse’s illness.
After debuting at Tokyo 1964, Hoketsu went 44 years between Games appearances. He finished 41st out of 50 competitors in individual dressage at London 2012, according to sports-reference.com.
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Russia’s new track and field federation president said he thinks his nation’s track and field athletes have “between 50 and 60 percent” of a chance of competing in the Rio Olympics, according to Reuters.
The IAAF is expected to rule June 17 whether Russia’s ban from international track and field competition will be lifted before the Rio Olympics.
Russia’s track and field athletes were banned indefinitely in November by the IAAF, after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged widespread doping issues.
Russia was given criteria to earn reinstatement, and Dmitry Shlyakhtin, elected new Russian track and field chief in January, believes the situation has improved.
“A mouse would not be able to slip past us now!” Shlyakhtin said, according to Reuters.
Russia has recently come under more scrutiny following reports of widespread winter sports doping leading up to the Sochi Olympics and cheating during those Winter Games to avoid positive drug tests.
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