Asafa’s statue unveiled; sprinter aims to be JA’s ‘saviour’ at 2020 Olympics
Former 100m world record holder, Asafa Powell was immortalised on Sunday after a statue of him was unveiled at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
The statue, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, was to honour and celebrate the achievements and contribution Powell has made to track and field in Jamaica.
The life-size statue was created by renowned Jamaican sculptor, Basil Watson, and bears the name ‘Sub-10 King’, which reflects the sprinter’s decorated career which saw him breaking the 10-second barrier in 100m 97 times.
The statue is the fourth in a series and forms part of the Jamaica 55 Legacy Projects as commissioned by the Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange. The others are for Olympians Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Present at the simple ceremony were PM Holness, sculptor Watson, Minister Grange, family, friends and supporters of Powell.
Powell expressed his appreciation for the recognition, noting that his fans have been keeping him motivated over the years.
“All of Jamaica, I just want to give you guys a big thank you for really keeping me through all these years. It’s been a very long time and I am still going, and it’s just the grace of God that keeps me going,” he shared.
“I am honoured and very grateful for this statue. Minister of Sport Olivia Grange you have gone above and beyond for us and I always tell the athletes you are my favourite. You have always gone through the roof for us. I am a statue man now,” Powell added.
The world-class sprinter said too that he hoped that his achievements could inspire the next generation of athletes to attain similar accomplishments regardless of their position in life.
“Let this be a testament to you guys that anything is possible,” he said, adding that “It doesn’t matter where you are from. It’s just hard work (and) dedication. Believe in yourself, and everything will be possible.”
But that was not all. Powell also hinted at his hopes of representing Jamaica later this year at the Tokyo Olympics, with the hopes of reviving the country’s sprinting dominance.
“This year is a very big year, it’s the Olympic Games. A lot of people are doubting Jamaica right now so, hopefully, I can be the one to really put back Jamaica in that spotlight,” the 37-year old shared.
“I can be the saviour and go out there, do my best along with the other guys of the national team.”
Powell shattered the 100m world record in Athens Greece in 2005 when he ran 9.77, erasing Tim Montgomery’s 2002 record of 9.78. He subsequently became known as the ‘World’s Fastest Man,’ before resetting the record again in 2007 to 9.74.
Compatriot, Usain Bolt, would be the one to break that record in 2008 to become the World’s Fastest Man.
However, Powell still claims the title as ‘Sub-10 King’ having run the most sub 10 times in 100 metres than any sprinter in history.