August 26, 2011 10:29
Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell has withdrawn from the men's 100-m race at the World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, ending the tantalizing prospect of him taking on compatriot Usain Bolt in Sunday night's final.
"Powell has officially withdrawn from the 100-m event in Daegu citing a continued groin strain. Powell suffered a groin strain in Budapest on July 30 and has had recurring tightness and pain ever since," according to a statement from Powell's agency, Doyle Management, as cited on the site of the athletics governing body on Thursday.
"He has received all sorts of treatments over the past two weeks in the hope of being prepared to run the 100 m here in Daegu, but today Asafa made the final decision not to run," it added on the IAAF's official website.
The 28-year-old, who owns the fastest time of the season of 9.78 seconds, was a no-show at the press conference for the Jamaican national team at Daedeok Cultural Hall in Daegu.
His manager Paul Doyle said that Powell was still hoping to compete in the 400-m relay.
This is the latest calamity to hit the signature event of the Daegu Worlds since American sprinter Tyson Gay (29) pulled out of the 100 m earlier due to an injured hip joint. It means that event favorite Bolt will now be stripped of his two main challengers as he goes to defend his title.
Beijing Olympics champion Bolt (25) owns the world record of 9.58 seconds but has only managed 9.88 seconds so far this year, 1/10 of a second behind the older Powell.
Although they are on the same team, the two Jamaicans never make a secret of their rivalry on the track. Belonging to different teams and coaches, they practice with separate training schedules even when the national team is summoned.
The men's 100-m final will be held at 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, the second day of the championships. The preliminaries for the race start on Saturday.
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