Gay rules out showdown with Powell in Stuttgart

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LONDON, Sep 20 (Reuters) World sprint champion Tyson Gay will not race against 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell at the World Athletic finals in Stuttgart this weekend.

The American, who became only the second man in history to win the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at the same world championships in Osaka last month, has not completely ruled out travelling to Stuttgart, but said that if he did he would run in the 200.

Jamaican Powell, beaten comprehensively by Gay at the worlds, is pencilled in to run the 100 in Germany.

''Stuttgart's still a possibilty but I'm not sure yet,'' Gay said in London at the announcement of a 100 million pounds 200.1 million dollars sponsorship deal between German sports goods maker Adidas and the London 2012 Olympic committee.

''I'm not really ready to race Asafa yet...I want to be fully healthy and focused. I don't want to race him if he's on his A game and I'm not,'' said Gay.

''Like I told (Asafa) it's about being 100 percent. I'm not going to step up to the plate and race the world record holder when I'm not 100 per cent because right now he's on fire.

''Next year when I'm running 9.7s it will be even more exciting,'' said Gay who ran 9.85 to win gold at the world championships. Powell's world record stands at 9.74.

MENTAL EDGE Gay, who will run at meetings in Shanghai, Yokohama and Daegu to conclude a stunning year, played down suggestions he had a mental edge over Powell.

''I thought maybe I had an edge after the worlds but then he ran 9.74 (in Brussels) and now he probably thinks he's got a mental edge,'' said Gay, who skipped a possible meeting with Powell at this month's Golden League meet in Brussels.

Gay's personal best is the 9.84 he ran in Indianapolis in June and he described Powell's world record run as amazing. He is now looking towards running against the Jamaican next year.

''I'm tired now mentally but looking forward to refocusing for the next couple of meets,'' he said.

''I won't race Powell this year but more than likely will before the Olympics (in Beijing next year)... depending on if we're both healthy there will be a big match-up.'' Gay's compatriot Allyson Felix, only the second woman to win three gold medals at a single worlds last month in Osaka, spoke of her desire to compete in the 400 metres at the Olympics.

''I have a lot of potential in the 400, it's a new event for me and I'm very raw at it but I want to learn and run it in Beijing,'' she told reporters.

Looking further ahead, Felix added: ''I'll be 26 by London 2012 and I'm looking forward to it....I want gold medals and world records, I want them both, I'm greedy!'' As well as winning the 200 in Osaka, Felix swept the 4x100 and 4x400 relays with the American team.

REUTERS AB RK2310

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