Powell wants to take on Bolt and Gay before Worlds

By Leon MannBBC Sports News

Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell says the world's three fastest men should line up in a race together before August's World Championships.

Powell, Olympic champion Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay have not featured in the same race since the 100m final at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

Bolt shattered the world record in that race with a time of 9.58 seconds.

"We're definitely up for it because the fans want it, and without them there is no sport," Powell told BBC Sport.

"We need to make sure the fans enjoy themselves and get to see what they want to see."

The World Championships take place in Daegu, South Korea, from 27 August until 4 September.

Powell, 28, finished in third place behind compatriot Bolt and American Gay in the 2009 100m final in Berlin and believes a race that sees all three men go head-to-head would be beneficial to all of them ahead of the World Championships.

"I think they're going out with the same mindset as me: to see what their weakness is, what they need to work on and everything like that," said Powell.

"I know I am going up against Usain before the World Championships, I'm also going up against Tyson, but when will you see us all in one competition?

"I don't know - hopefully before the World Championships but it depends on the managers and meet directors."

Powell will take on Bolt in a Diamond League meeting in Rome next month, before facing Gay in Birmingham and then London.

Bolt is unlikely to compete in the UK before 2012 because tax regulations mean he will could lose more money than he would earn in the Diamond League meetings there.

But Powell sees his UK races against Gay, the fastest American ever, as crucial preparation for the main event of the year.

"It's one of the two test runs before the World Championships to see what shape I'm in," he said.

"Maybe a month after you can be in a lot better shape but it still helps you to see what shape you're in, what you need to work on."

Powell has an impressive record in the UK, having run the fastest time ever on British soil to equal his then 100m world record of 9.77secs in Gateshead five years ago.

He is supportive of London's bid to host the 2017 World Championships and sees it as the perfect event to follow the Olympic games.

"The UK is very big in athletics," said Powell. "So everything would go well. It would be well organised and people would have a good time.

"Who wouldn't want to compete in the same stadium as the Olympic Games, so yes, I would definitely bid for that."