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Aviva London Grand Prix, Crystal Palace

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Powell and Gay

 

23 May 2008

 

 

The race that everyone in athletics wants to see will take place at the Aviva London Grand Prix this summer.

 

Asafa Powell, the world 100m record holder, and Tyson Gay, the reigning world sprint champion will go head to head at Crystal Palace on July 25.

 

In what is set to be one of the highlights of the track and field summer, the pair will race-off for a $50,000 first place prize with a further $50,000 on offer for a world record.

 

Gay, who trails his rival 1-5 in their races against each other, admits he can’t wait for the meeting to come around.

 

He said: “London will be very crucial for me - it is one of the biggest meets of the year right now and that is where it is going down between myself and Asafa. He has the title of being the world record holder and I have the title of being the world champion and I think that is really good for the sport.”

 

Significantly, Gay’s only victory over Powell came in last year’s World Championship final where the Jamaican was strongly tipped to take gold. And Powell admits he got his approach wrong that day.

 

Powell said: “Up until the finals I wasn’t thinking about Tyson Gay I was thinking about the gold medal and all the glory after the gold medal and that is what I did wrong. I started thinking about the outcome instead of focusing on what I was supposed to do.”

 

But Powell admits there will be no better venue than Crystal Palace to redress the balance given the level of support he gets there.

 

“At the Aviva London Grand Prix, I feel like I am in Jamaica with all the crowd support. There are a lot of Jamaicans, and also the people from London really support me and respect me a lot.

 

“So going to that meet is always a different feeling, it gives me a sense of being home away from home  - you know the atmosphere is always wonderful.”

 

The big sprint clash will also be great news for Britain’s Olympic hopefuls in the 100m, providing the perfect opportunity to fine-tune preparations ahead of Beijing.

 

On the British sprinters, Gay said: “The UK has great athletes - Craig Pickering is coming up and Marlon Devonish is doing well. There’s still a rivalry between America and GB but I have a lot of respect for them.”

 

Olympic Gold medallist Marlon Devonish is relishing the challenge of taking on Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay;

 

"The Aviva London Grand Prix promises to be a fantastic occasion and personally I can't wait to compete on home soil just days before we set off to Beijing.

 

"The crowd at Crystal Palace are always amazing and I know the British guys will be ready to rise to the occasion. Finishing sixth at the World Championships last year has given me the confidence to step up to the next level."

 

Tickets for the event – which runs over two days on Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26 – are now available. For more details visit UKA Major Events