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Liu Xiang meets top rivals again, in Rome
(Agencies/China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-08 09:58

Powell appeared to be in good enough condition to race when he practiced coming out of the starting blocks alongside Gatlin late Thursday, although he still had not made any formal announcement on his participation.

Both Gatlin and Powell said they were excited about the budding rivalry, especially since they are about the same age - Gatlin is 23 and Powell is 22. Both runners were born in 1982.

"We are the same age, that's what makes it more exciting," Powell said.

Powell ran 9.77 seconds in Athens on June 14, bettering Montgomery's record from 2002 by one hundredth of a second.

"He had no one to push him - that was the most remarkable thing," Gatlin said of Powell's performance. "Usually when world records are broken it's because there were people pushing each other. He can push me to the next level, that's what I'm waiting for."

Aziz Zakari of Ghana clocked 9.99 as the runner-up when Powell set the record.

Gatlin beat Powell at the Olympics with a more strategic plan, saving his energy in the preliminary and semifinal heats for the final. Powell was running on fumes by the time he reached the final, resulting in a fifth-place finish.

The 9.85 Gatlin ran at the Olympics remains his best official time. Powell finished with a 9.94 at the Olympics.

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