Byline: Ian Stafford
ASAFA POWELL claimed his third successive title in the world athletics final last night in Stuttgart, then rounded on Carl Lewis, one of his sport's greatest athletes, as the American-Jamaican sprinting rivalry suddenly turned nasty.
Former world record-holder Powell led home a Jamaican 100metres clean sweep inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena, winning the last significant meeting of the global season pocketing $30,000 (?16,800) for his efforts in 9.87sec, so impressive considering the permanent drizzle and relatively cold temperatures.
The Caribbean country's dominance in Germany followed on from their hugely successful Olympics last month, when they won six golds, making Lewis's suspicions about their legitimacy all the more pointed.
In an interview in American magazine Sports Illustrated, the nine-times Olympic gold medallist queried Jamaica's sudden surge to the top of world sprinting, and in particular their double Olympic 100m and 200m champion and double world recordholder Usain Bolt.
'For someone to run 10.03 one year, and 9.69 the next, if you don't query that in a sport that has a reputation it has right now, then you're a fool ... period,' said Lewis. 'Countries like Jamaica do not have a random (anti-doping) programme, so they can go months without being treated. No one is accusing Bolt but don't be driven by a different rule and expect the same kind of respect.' But Powell, who stands second in the all-time world rankings with a time of 9.72, was not having any of that last night, calling Lewis, who won four gold medals in the 1984 Olympics, 'sad'.
Powell insisted that he and his fellow Jamaicans were tested more than their American rivals, and warned Lewis that he and his good friend Bolt would be recording even better times next year.
'The Americans can't believe the Jamaicans are going so well,' said Powell, who has now run the 100m in under 9.90 on 23 occasions.
'They're used to doing what we're achieving now. But I'm 100 per cent sure the Americans don't get tested as often as we do. I find it sad that former athletes from the Eighties like Lewis can say these things. Usain's a very talented athlete and he trained hard for both the 100m and 200m for Beijing.
That's why he got what he deserved.' As a parting shot, Powell promised Lewis that there is more to come. …