Sports
Jamaican sprinter Powell to miss men's 100m
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Published : Aug 25, 2011 - 20:20
Updated : Aug 25, 2011 - 20:20

DAEGU, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell withdrew on Thursday from the men's 100-meter dash with an injury at the upcoming World Championships in Athletics here, his agency said.

"Powell suffered a groin strain in Budapest on July 30 and has had recurring tightness and pain ever since," his representatives, Doyle Management, said in a statement on the website of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). "He has received all sorts of treatments over the past two weeks in the hope of being prepared to run the 100 meter here in Daegu but today Asafa made the final decision not to run. He feels he would not be at 100 percent and may have trouble coming back after each round."

Powell, the former 100 meter world record holder and the world bronze medalist in 2007 and 2009, owns the fastest 100 meter time this year at 9.78 seconds.

The championships kick off Saturday for a nine-day run, and the men's 100 meter final is set for Sunday night.

Powell's absence will likely open the path for compatriot Usain Bolt, the world record holder with 9.58 seconds, to defend his 100

meter crown. Bolt has this year struggled with aftereffects of Achilles' tendon and back injuries from a year ago. His best 100 meter time in 2011 is 9.88, only the seventh fastest.

Bolt on Thursday tried to played down expectations of more world records, saying he is only coming back from injuries and is still trying to get back in shape.

"I wouldn't say (my body) is 100 percent but I'm happy with where it is and I'm going out there to do my best," Bolt said at a press conference for the Jamaican team. He also owns the 200 meter world record at 19.19.

"I'm just going out there to win and that's the main focus right now," he added. "I think people expect a lot from me. I'm personally focused on winning always but for me the pressure is always there, even before I won my first gold medal."

Powell is the latest marquee name to drop out of the most spectacular show on the track. Tyson Gay, the 2007 world champion in 100 meters, is sidelined with a hip injury. Steve Mullings, a Jamaican who had the third best 100 meter time in 2011, has been left off the team after failing a drug test.

Powell's injury could also dampen Jamaica's prospects to defend their 4x100 meters world title. Doyle Management said Powell is "still optimistic to be able to run the relay."

An official with Daegu's organizing committee said judges will hold a technical meeting to finalize all rosters on Friday, and Powell's withdrawal will only be finalized then.

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