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Powell warns Brits of extreme pressure

LONDON, England, August 5 – Jamaica’s Asafa Powell believes British athletes will be under “so much pressure” when London hosts next year’s Olympic Games they will want to “disappear”.

Powell himself has been repeatedly accused of letting the pressure get to him, with the 28-year-old yet to claim a major sprint title despite numerous sub 10-second times for the 100 metres, in which event he will compete in the London Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace on Friday.

“Having a home crowd, with all the expectations, is too much,” said Powell.

“I’m sure the British athletes would want to disappear next year because there will be so much pressure. People will be expecting them to win but it’s not like that. The best athlete will win.”

As for his own prospects of claiming that elusive major gold medal, Powell said: “Over the years I’ve been running fast times. I remember in 2005 when I broke the world record but I made a few mistakes and got injured.

“In 2007 I was too confident. I was the fastest person in that World Championship final but finished third and 9.86 won the final when I was a 9.7 runner.

“I’ve been making a lot of mistakes over the years, too many mistakes. If I had run like I should I would have got gold medals at all these championships.

“I’m used to the criticism about not doing it at the big championships. It’s true in some ways and I’ve had to learn to live with it. I don’t have much time so I’m not going to waste my chances.”

And Powell said that may mean he takes a cautious approach to Friday’s race, his last before the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

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“This is my last race before Daegu,” he added.

“It’s important to test where you are and make sure everything is working fine, but you still have to be cautious, make the right decisions, decide is it smart to run fast or take it easy.

“To get 100 sub-10 runs in my career would be really good. It’s amazed me that I can be so consistent. I’m surprised my legs can still do it because I have been running for so long.”

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