Powell considering 2008 Olympic sprint double

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YOKOHAMA, Japan, Sep 29 (Reuters) Jamaica's 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell may attempt a sprint double at the 2008 Beijing Olympics -- even though he hates the 200.

''I'm still not sure about it,'' Powell told Reuters today. ''I really don't like the 200 but maybe I will do a couple more next season just to get stronger for the 100.'' Powell, who runs the 200 in today's season-ending Super Track and Field meeting, added: ''I'm not sure but if I'm healthy and in good shape to run the 200 I'll double at the Olympics.'' Powell has been in unstoppable form since being beaten by Tyson Gay in the 100m final at the world championships in Osaka last month, lowering his own world record to 9.74 seconds.

The Jamaican cruised to victory in the 200m at Shanghai's Golden Grand Prix yesterday but made no secret about his dislike for the longer race on his arrival in Yokohama.

''I've only run a couple of 200s this year,'' shrugged the 24-year-old. ''It hurts after running the 200 and I really don't like that feeling.

''I always want to run the 100. I wanted to run the 100 here but only the 200 was available so I had to run that.'' SHANGHAI SURPRISE Gay lines up in the 100m on Sunday looking to atone for a surprise defeat by training partner Wallace Spearmon in Shanghai.

''I'm a little upset at myself,'' admitted the American, who won the indivudual sprint double in Osaka and added a third gold in the 4x100m.

''I didn't really expect to get beaten in Shanghai. Wallace actually broke my winning streak. It was my first loss this year and it bothered me.

''Now I'm going to take responsibility to prepare my body that every time I step on the track I have a reputation to uphold as world champion.'' The American said he was still in awe of Powell's record-breaking run in Rieti earlier this month but stressed his own priority was Olympic titles in Beijing.

''I was actually excited when Asafa Powell broke the world record in 9.74 because that's the time I had in my mind as well,'' said Gay.

''For the world to see that you can run faster than 9.77 is amazing. It won't be as big a shock if he or myself runs faster next year.

''But my main goal right now is Beijing and trying to win the gold medal. If the record happens, it happens.'' REUTERS SSC KP1805

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