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Gay and Powell could meet in Oregon 100 meters

Asafa Powell (L), former 100-meter world record holder from Jamaica, shows his lucky charm necklace as Tyson Gay, American record-holder at 100-meters, looks on during the Reebok Grand Prix athletics meet news conference in New York May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - World champion Tyson Gay and former world record holder Asafa Powell could meet in an early-season 100 meters clash at Sunday’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, athletics officials said on Monday.

“The plan is if Tyson Gay competes, he would be in the same section with Asafa,” meeting director Tom Jordan told Reuters in a telephone interview from Eugene.

Jamaican Powell is entered in the meeting, Jordan said, and American Gay is considering it after running the third-fastest 200 meters of all time, 19.58 seconds, at Saturday’s New York grand prix.

“He would really like to run at Prefontaine,” Gay’s manager Mark Wetmore said in a phone interview. “It’s all a question of if he feels like he is ready to run next weekend.”

He had initially planned not to run again until the June 25-28 U.S. championships in Eugene, “but he is feeling pretty good about things and I think he now does want to get one in,” Wetmore said.

“His heart is telling him he should go race,” Wetmore said. “His head is telling him ‘just be careful here.’”

Gay strained a hamstring in the 200 meters preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene last year and then failed to make the 100 meters final in Beijing. This winter, a knee injury cost him several weeks of training.

Editing by Ian Ransom