Powell says he will be fit for Crystal Palace race against Gay

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The Independent Online

Asafa Powell said yesterday that he will be fully fit for his meeting with the world champion, Tyson Gay, in the 100 metres at the Aviva London Grand Prix on Friday.

The 25-year-old Jamaican, who pulled up in his heat at the recent Golden League meeting in Rome with what was reported as a groin strain, said he would be ready to face the American. Gay has also had a recent muscle injury to contend with, having pulled up in the 200m at the US Olympic trials.

"What happened in Rome was just a cramp," said Powell, who is due to meet the man who took his 100m world record, his fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt, in Stockholm tomorrow night. "It's nothing and will not keep me out of Crystal Palace. I resumed my complete training last Monday. Beijing is very close now, so this race is very important for me."

Bolt is preparing to run "something very special" in the 200m at Crystal Palace, although the man who has run 100m in 9.72sec has not confirmed that he will attempt the sprint double in Beijing next month.

Running in the 100m in China will be Britain's Craig Pickering and Tyrone Edgar, who were confirmed as individual entries, with Simeon Williamson, after Dwain Chambers' failure at the High Court on Friday to gain the injunction he needed to overturn his life ban from the Olympics.

Edgar looked the most likely man to miss out had Chambers – who won last week's Olympic trials in 10.00sec – prevailed, given that he finished fourth in Birmingham.

"This has been one of the strangest weeks of my life and I don't ever want another one like it," said the US-based athlete who has run 10.06sec this season, as well as winning the European Cup. "I would have preferred a smoother ride, but it has been like a roller coaster.

"But athletics is like that, you get the ups and downs. I was really disappointed at the trials, but I remained hopeful throughout the week I would get selected for the individual 100m. Now I have a big smile on my face."

Pickering, who was one of nearly 100 athletes who signed a petition in support of the British Olympic Association bylaw which bans all doping offenders from the Games for life, said he was glad the Chambers case was over, as it had been "an unwanted distraction".

A notable selection in the women's team is Donna Fraser, whose participation in the 4x400m relay will make her a four-time Olympian.

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