MULLINGS... has beaten Tyson Gay this season. POWELL... not to be underestimated
Sub-10 stars plot historic 100m
BY PAUL BURROWES
Thursday, June 23, 2011
IN 2007, only one Jamaican was legally running under 10 seconds in the 100m.
Now, in 2011, all eight sprinters expected to face the starter in the 100m final at the National Championships this week at the National Stadium are likely to be sub 10-second athletes.
Jamaica have joined only the mighty USA as the second country in history to boast seven sprinters legally running under 10 seconds in one year.
The Americans achieved the feat in 2008.
As usual, there is debate as to who will be in that marquee final. Usain Bolt will most likely not be, as his place in the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Korea this summer is asured as defending champion.
The 24-year-old Bolt, world-record holder in both the 100 and 200 metres, is still showing signs of race rustiness, having only returned to competition in May after a nine-month injury break.
Who can blame Bolt if he decides not to run, against this crop of Jamaican sprinters eager for a piece of him!
Will this Jamaican Senior Championships set the record for having at least six athletes legally running under 9.99 seconds and lower?
In 2007, Powell clipped to a world-record 9.74 seconds. He was the only Jamaican under 10 seconds that year, with first-timer Bolt clocking 10.03 seconds.
Steve Mullings, Clement Campbell and Michael Frater ran wind-aided 9.91, 9.92, and 9.95, respectively.
The only four Jamaicans to run sub-10 seconds in 2008 combined to set a world record in the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics in China.
Bolt set a then world record of 9.69 seconds, Powell clocked 9.72 seconds, Frater had 9.97 seconds, and Nesta Carter 9.98 seconds. And though the quartet clocked 37.10 seconds for the world record in the 4x100m relay, lead-off runner Carter clocked 10.2, with Frater and Bolt running 9.0, and Powell anchoring with 8.7 seconds.
In 2009, Bolt lowered his world record to 9.58 seconds and was joined by three other compatriots in the single-digit category: Powell, 9.82, Carter 9.91, and Lerone Clarke 9.99.
Last year, with no major international championships on the cards, Jamaica's elite sprinters opted out of the National Championships, though five of them would have made the short sprint a thriller.
Carter, 9.78; Powell and Bolt, 9.82; Blake, 9.89 and Mario Forsythe, 9.95, did not compete at National Championships, though Frater, 9.98, did and finished second with 10.16, after Oshane Bailey, 10.14.
So far this year, the 28-year-old Mullings has been the sub-10 speedster, clocking a personal best 9.80, which marked his fourth time in single digit legally.
Carter, 25, has a season best 9.92 for his eighth race under 10 seconds, with MVP Track Club teammate Powell next with a season's best 9.93 for an unprecedented 67 times under 10 seconds.
With Frater, a month older than Powell, running 9.94 seconds this year and 21-year-old Blake clocking 9.95, choosing the top six seems a forgone conclusion, which includes Nickel Ashmeade, also 21, who joined the elite club for the first time with a personal best 9.96.
An slightly injured Powell may not finish in the top three at Trials, but who can underestimate him?