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Gatlin wants to run world record 9.75 in Doha

Written by: Staff

DOHA, May 11 (Reuters) World and Olympic champion Justin Gatlin is aiming to clock a world record 9.75 seconds in tomorrow's 100 metres race at the IAAF Super Tour meeting in Doha.

The 24-year-old American sprinter said that beating Jamaican Asafa Powell's record of 9.77, set in Athens last year, was his chief priority after winning both Olympic and world championship gold medals.

''I am aiming to clock 9.75 this year,'' he told reporters.

''There are no major global championships in 2006 -- so my aim is to add the world record to my name. And it can happen here in Doha.'' Powell will miss tomorrow's race, but Portugal's Francis Obikwelu and Olympic 200 metres champion Shawn Crawford will provide stiff competition for Gatlin, who has never won in Doha.

In 2004, he was beaten by compatriot Crawford and last year Obikwelu outpaced him.

But after clocking a remarkable 9.95 seconds in his first outing this season at Osaka, the Trevor Graham-coached sprinter is confident.

American Terrence Trammell and Nigerians Uchenna Emedoulu and Olusoji Fasuba will also help push Gatlin in his world record bid.

Close finishes are also expected in the men's 3,000 metres and 400 metres hurdles.

The Kenyan trio of Eliud Kipchoge, Augustine Choge and Ben Limo are expected to fight it out in the 3000 metres while world 400 metres hurdles champion Bershawn Jackson of the United States faces a fight against Greece's Periklis Iakovakis.

Reuters DH DB2118

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