Like most other elite-level sprinters, Jamaican Asafa Powell is sure that 2012 is his year to take home gold.
In fact, Powell has gone so far as to guarantee a win in the 100-meter sprint -- provided that he runs his own race, he said.
"I know for sure, if I go out there and do what I'm supposed to do, it will be very hard for anyone to catch me to the finish line because there's no doubt that I'm the best starter out there," Powell said on May 18, 2012.
He added: "Many track and field people know that if I stay relaxed and run my race like I'm supposed to, I will be the winner at the Olympic Games. That's what I'm trying to do, and I know what I have to do."
Powell, 29, has competed in the 100-meter at two Olympic Games, finishing fifth in both 2004 and 2008. He's undeniably one of the fastest sprinters and fastest starters in the world, but he's also had frequent performance problems at major international competitions.
The two-time Olympian has held the world record in the 100-meter, and he's run sub-10 seconds more frequently than anyone else in the world. But he's never won gold in the event at a world championship or Olympic event, and he believes that 2012 is finally his year.
Whether his prediction comes true or not remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: It's Powell's job to believe that 2012 is his year. If he isn't sure that he can win gold when he steps onto the track, then he's already beaten.
With that being said, it must be pointed out that Powell will face some stiff competition from teammates Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, as well as Americans Tyson Gay and Walter Dix. Some of those runners, such as Bolt and Blake, project an unshakeable confidence that Powell hasn't always seemed to display.
And even Powell admits that those big names and that type of confidence could make the difference in who ends up on the top of the podium and who ends up in fourth place.
"When you are out there with Usain or Tyson Gay, or any of those other guys who are running sub 9.90, you know that it's going to be close and you know it's not going to be an easy race and you have to pull out all your stops to win," Powell said on May 18, 2012. "It takes a lot more focus, you have to remain a lot more relaxed and calm to win that race. It's pretty much the names. When you are out there with the bigger names, you feel a lot more pressure."
Will Powell be able to withstand the pressure? Fans will have to wait until Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 to find out. That's when the men's 100-meter final is scheduled to be contested.
More from this author: Asafa Powell Latest Jamaican to Predict Possible Jamaican Sweep of Men's 100-Meter
Sandra Johnson is an avid Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
- Sports & Recreation
- Asafa Powell