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

Gatlin beat Powell in their most recent encounter in Eugene, Oregon, on June 4, when both ran a wind-aided 9.84 and Gatlin took a photo-finish.

Former world record holder Maurice Greene recently said he still doubts whether Powell can perform under pressure.

"I'll work on that," Powell said. "I made a mistake in Athens and I won't make the same mistake in Helsinki. I'm going to Helsinki to win one race."

The world championships will be held in Helsinki, Finland, next month, and the Rome race may be a preview for that.

"Hopefully it will be a great race and we can put on a show for the audience. That's what they're here for," Gatlin said of the 40,000 fans expected at Stadio Olimpico.

Also scheduled for a star-studded 100-meter field are world champion Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis, Olympic silver medalist Francis Obikwelu of Portugal, Ronald Pognon, who established a new French national record of 9.99 on Tuesday in Lausanne, and Zakari, who won in Paris.

Only one athlete who won a jackpot event in Paris - Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele (5,000 meters) - will not compete in Rome.

Eleven athletes are still in the running for a share of the US$1 million (euro0.84 million) jackpot, awarded to any athlete who wins their discipline at each of the six Golden League meets and then also competes at the world athletics final.

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