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Powell confident of success

TWOSOME: Asafa Powell (left) and Farah Powell

ASAFA POWELL intends to smash his personal best and put in a world-leading performance in tomorrow’s 60m sprint at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham – the world’s premier annual indoor athletics event.

Having never competed indoors in the UK and nowhere globally since 2004 prior to this year, the former world record holder has chosen the Aviva Grand Prix, and more specifically the National Indoor Arena, to hone preparations for Olympic gold.

Powell, who will be based in Birmingham with the Jamaican team in the lead-up to this summer’s Olympics Games, remains supremely confident of producing a show-stopping performance.

He intends to better his indoor personal best of 6.56 secs and Lerone Clarke’s world leading 6.50 secs in tomorrow’s 60m against a world-class field including World outdoor bronze medallist Kim Collins.

Powell said: “I’m not going to say ‘if’ I do well tomorrow – I really think I’m going to do well tomorrow. I’m very confident. I’m looking to go below 6.50 seconds.

“Lerone [Clarke] is here, as is Nesta Carter and Michael Frater as well, so there is some really good competition. I’m just trying to get over the line and get the win. A good time is overdue.

“My coach and I really wanted to get the ball rolling earlier this season. It’s a very important year, so whatever I need to do to get ready and get in shape, I’ll be doing it. ”

Having enjoyed success competing outdoors in Birmingham in the past, including victory over 100m at last year’s Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix, Powell feels at home in the UK’s ‘second city’ and is looking forward to returning this summer ahead of the Olympic Games.

“Birmingham has good food and very good training facilities,” said Powell. “ I’m excited about coming back here for training camp. We always get really good support.”

For British fans in Birmingham on Saturday, there will be no greater attraction than watching 5000m world champion Mo Farah in his debut two mile race. Already regarded as Britain’s greatest ever distance runner, Farah is looking to add to his impressive start to 2012.

Farah is hotly-tipped to challenge the indoor British record over two miles of 8:17.06 held by John Mayock.

Farah said: “The British record is definitely a target. I’ve just got to get in the right race though and not think about any times, to try to be more competitive than anything else.”

Having already won on home soil over the 1500m distance at Glasgow’s Aviva International Match last month, Farah praised the support that he receives from British fans.

He added: “The support that I get at home events is a really great addition and it gives me a big boost. It’s one of the reasons that I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. If I’m struggling in the final stretches, I know that the home crowd will give me an added boost.”

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