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Powell Wins 100m in Commonwealth Tuneup

March 9, 2006

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ World record holder Asafa Powell won the 100 meters Thursday at the IAAF World Tour event.

Powell, who returned to competition in January after missing six months with a groin injury, finished in 10.29 seconds, .05 better than Trinidad’s Darrel Brown.

``I was quite nervous out there,″ Powell said. ``I haven’t been on the (Melbourne) track for almost a year now, so I need the confidence. But I’m the world record holder and I had to prove that I am.″

A delayed false start which wasn’t called until the sprinters had hit the 40-meter mark appeared to unsettle a few of the contenders, but Powell was strong on the restart.

``The first start was awesome,″ said Powell. ``If I had gotten that start in Athens, I would run maybe 9.6 seconds,″ Powell said. ``I’m quite happy that I got it over with. It’s over and done with so I can look forward to the Commonwealth Games.″

Powell has yet to win a major international competition after finishing a disappointing fifth at the Athens Olympics _ a result he is looking to reverse at next week’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. He set a world record of 9.77 in the 100 last June in Athens, but was injured two weeks later at Jamaica’s national trials and missed the world championships in August.

James Godday of Nigeria won the 400 meters in 45.65 seconds, while Kenyan Cosmas Rono took the 800 meters in 1:46.81.

This event is one of 12 Grand Prix meets in the second tier of the new World Athletics Tour. The top group comprises of six IAAF Golden League and six Super Grand Prix meets and ends with the World Athletics Final at Stuttgart.

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