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Athletics: Powell sets new world record.

Asafa Powell significantly lowered his 100 metres world record to 9.74 seconds at the IAAF Grand Prix meeting in Rieti yesterday.

The 24-year-old Jamaican knocked 0.03sec off the previous best of 9.77sec, which he has run on three occasions, in his semi-final at the Italian meeting.

Powell, aided by a 1.7 metres-per-second following wind, finished ahead of Norway's Saidy Ndure Jaysuma and St Kitts and Nevis's former world champion Kim Collins, who recorded 10.07sec and 10.14sec respectively.

Commonwealth champion Powell first broke Maurice Greene's mark of 9.79sec at the Athens Grand Prix in June 2005. He then matched that figure last June in Gateshead and again two months later at the Zurich Golden League meeting.

American Justin Gatlin also ran 9.77sec in May last year, although the Olympic champion's performance is likely to be annulled if found guilty of an anti-doping violation.

Powell, who was third behind Tyson Gay of the USA in the recent World Championships in Osaka, is set to meet Gay at the IAAF Golden League meeting in Brussels on Friday.

CAPTION(S):

Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell becomes the fastest man in history in Rieti Picture, ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 10, 2007
Words:201
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