Bolt wins bragging rights over Powell with victory in Paris
Saturday 17 July 2010
The Olympic and World champion Usain Bolt triumphed in the 100 metres at the Paris Diamond League meet in 9.84 seconds last night. Bolt won ahead of fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, who finished in 9.91sec. Another Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake, was third in 9.95sec.
Bolt and Powell, who share the fastest time this year at 9.82 sec, met for the first time this season. Powell is the last man to have beaten Bolt in the 100m, two years ago in Stockholm. Bolt, the world record holder in the 100m and 200m, is now unbeaten at 100m for 14 consecutive finals.
Meanwhile, the former Olympic champion Denise Lewis is confident that Britain will be able to hit their ambitious target of 10-15 medals at this month's European Championships in Barcelona. The UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee has declared that the 72-strong squad has the potential to achieve Britain's best medal haul at the championships in 12 years, but the Dutchman's claims came despite the team being without serious podium contenders such as the injured Christine Ohuruogu and Paula Radcliffe, who is pregnant.
Lewis, who won gold in the heptathlon at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, is confident that the team can reach the targets set by Van Commenee, who predicts that Team GB could come away with eight golds among their haul. "Getting 10 medals is a realistic target for sure," said Lewis, who won gold in the heptathlon at the European Championships in Budapest in 1998. "We have some real solid medal prospects so I do think 10 medals is realistic, and I'm sure there will be more.
"Jessica Ennis is hands down favourite for the heptathlon ... [there's] Dai Green in the 400m, Dwain Chambers in the 100m, we have a chance in the men's and women's relays at 4x100m and 4x400m, Phillips Idowu in the triple jump, Jenny Meadows in the 800m, Michael Rimmer has a good chance of a gold and there could be a medal for one of the hurdlers too, so it's a healthy situation. It could be one of our most successful championships ever."
World champion heptathlete Ennis will captain the team for the tournament, which begins on 27 July. She saw her preparations for the event take a blow when she had to miss two weeks of training due to an ear infection earlier this month. The 24-year-old showed signs of rustiness when she finished last in the 200m at the Aviva Grand Prix last weekend although her javelin throw of 46.15 metres was close to her personal best. Lewis is confident that Ennis will live up to being favourite in Barcelona. "Jess is in great shape at the moment," said Lewis. "Her biggest rival, Hyleas Fountain of the USA, isn't going to be at the Europeans so I really do think she can go out there and win it.
Ennis has ruled herself out of the Commonwealth Games in India later this year and Lewis believes the move will be beneficial. "For Jess the first focus is the 2012 Olympics and everything else pales into insignificance really," she said. "She starts her preparation for the World Championships next year around the start of when the Commonwealth Games takes place so she can't afford to lose that time and that's why I think she has taken the right decision."
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