HE’S BACK! @officialasafa will run at the #Qantas #Melbourne World Challenge on April 6!

Will he go sub-10? http://t.co/1LrxSWc1



MELBOURNE: Asafa Powell confirms for Qantas World Challenge

The fourth fastest man in history Asafa Powell (JAM) has been confirmed to run in the men’s 100m at the 2013 Qantas Melbourne World Challenge on Saturday 6 April.

Set to launch his track season just days after competing at the Australia Post Stawell Gift, Powell boasts an outstanding list of accolades including an Olympic and Commonwealth title, four medals from the IAAF World Championships, seven Jamaican championship crowns and seven victories in the short sprint at the Samsung Diamond League since it commenced in 2010.

Powell, who has ran a time quicker than 10 seconds more than any other athlete (88 times), clocked 9.77 in 2005 and 9.74 in 2007 to claim and then improve the men’s 100m world record, before his compatriot Usain Bolt took the mantle in May 2008.

He set a personal best of 9.72 (w: +0.2) in Lausanne (SUI) in 2008 and hopes to become the first person ever to break the 10-second barrier in Melbourne when he races on Lakeside Stadium’s blue track this April.

Powell said: “I have some great memories of Melbourne and its fans, running there just a week after what will be a great outing at the Stawell Gift is a really exciting opportunity for me.

“I’ve never raced at Lakeside Stadium so that will be a fresh new experience, and I would absolutely love to be the first athlete to break 10 seconds there. That would make me the first person to break 10 seconds in Melbourne too. I have run under 10 in America, Europe and Asia so I suppose Australia is one of my last frontiers and to launch my season with a time like that would be sensational.”

Powell is no stranger to the Victorian capital, winning the men’s 100m in a blistering 10.03 (w: +0.9) in front of a full Melbourne Cricket Ground at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The 30-year-old, who in November became a first-time father to a daughter Argentina, returned Down Under to clock 10.04 (w: -0.2) at the Melbourne Telstra A-Series event in 2008, before again thrilling the Olympic Park crowds with a 10.23 (w: -1.4) effort to win at the 2009 Melbourne Track Classic.

Now recovered from the groin injury that prevented him from firing at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Powell will provide an outstanding challenge for members of the Australian men’s 4x100m relay team as he begins his quest for a fourth appearance in the men’s 100m at the IAAF World Championships this August.

Now laying claim to the national and Oceania 4x100m relay record after a stunning 38.17 to qualify for the final at the 2012 London Olympic Games, that Australian team of Josh ‘the Boss’ Ross (Vic), Anthony Alozie (NSW), Andrew McCabe (Qld) and Isaac Ntiamoah (NSW) are all set to start at the Qantas Melbourne World Challenge.

The Qantas Melbourne World Challenge is the first of a 15-meet series hosted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that continues in Kingston (JAM), Kawasaki (JPN), Rio de Janiero (BRA), Daegu (KOR), Ponce (PUR), Rabat (MAR), Hengelo (NED), Moscow (RUS), Dakar (SEN), Ostrava (CZE), Madrid (ESP), Berlin (GER), Zagreb (CRO) and Rieti (ITA).

In 2013, the event will provide a crescendo to the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour before the nation’s best athletes descend on Sydney (NSW) for the 2013 Australian Athletics Championships, which doubles as the Selection Trial for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow (RUS).

The Qantas Australian Athletics Tour will launch with the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday 9 March, before heading west for the Go for 2&5 Perth Track Classic on Saturday 16 March.

Tickets to the Qantas Melbourne World Challenge are available for purchase through Ticketmaster, by clicking here.

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