Having held the world record as the fastest 100 metre sprinter for three years running (pun intended), Jamaican born crazy legs, Asafa Powell is looking to smash a new time in Beijing. With the help of Nike’s new Zoom Aerofly sneakers there is a strong possibility we will be watching Powell in a ‘blink and you'll miss’ dash for gold. Courtesy of Nike, we were incredibly lucky to grab a minute from the 9.74 second king as he explains Nike’s new technology, his penchant for wild colours and syking out his competitors!
What are your design requirements for a track spike?
Well the things that I normally look for in a track spike, it has to be light, that's the first thing. The plate has to be right, I don't like my plate too hard or too soft, it has to be medium. And it has to fit well.
What did you think when the Nike designers brought you the Zoom Aerofly?
Well, when they brought this design to me, the process was back and forth. You know, trying to make it right. Every time they do something new they bring it to me. I test it and tell them the changes they need to make. You know they're making changes; they’ve been pretty simple. You know I like a lot of different colors and stuff like that.
What were the specific changes you wanted to make?
Well, at first the sizes were a bit off, one foot was looser than the other so we had to go back and adjust that. Sometimes the heel was maybe too round or too short or something so, you know changes like that.
Tell us about the different sizes?
Well, one of my feet is maybe half a size smaller than the other, so they had to make one 10.5 and one 11. And when I went back the other was maybe not an 11 but 10 and 3/4 so you know, it's pretty awkward.
Tell us what it is like when you put on the Zoom Aerofly.
Well it feels fast, it's very tight. It's like you feel your foot when it goes in, it wraps around your foot and it fits perfectly. The movement is not stiff and you don't have to cramp your toes, it fits very comfortably.
Is there a psychological benefit to wearing the most innovative product on the track?
When I go on the track, I look at my spikes. You know when you are in a good spike, you feel it. You’re very comfortable in your spike. It's very important to have a good shoe. You know there are people who might go out there saying it's not the right spike and it's gonna throw them off. Sometimes it's a psychological thing...
Nike has designed several color ways for you, how do you decide what to wear?
Well I like my Zoom Aeroflys in a lot of different colors. It depends on how I'm feeling on a particular day. If I’m in a fighting mood, I'll put on maybe something that matches that mood. If I'm in a calm and simple mood, I’ll choose different colors.
Tell us about the different designs you have for Beijing?
There is a cheetah print. Actually me and a couple of friends came up with that design. There's one with Jamaica culture stuff on it.
What will you be doing from now until you compete?
Well you know I pretty much leave after Europe and I leave everything to the coach and manager. I think we're going to the Jamaica camp. I don't know exactly what we're doing, but I'm sure we'll be training
How do you want to be remembered after Beijing?
I want to be remembered as the gold medalist in the 100 metres.
What would it mean to your country if you win gold?
That would mean a lot to Jamaica, they have a lot of confidence in me. They are hard people to please, but they love their athletes and they really support us.