Asafa Powell’s bid to win a major championships gold medal took another blow after he was forced to withdraw from this weekend’s IAAF World Championships due to injury.
Powell, the fastest sprinter in the world this year over 100 metres, at 9.78 seconds, was seen as a strong challenger to fellow countryman and defending champion Usain Bolt for gold in Daegu, South Korea.
However, the Jamaican has failed to recover from a groin injury which had also forced him to pull out of the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace earlier this month.
“Asafa Powell has officially withdrawn from the 100m event in Daegu citing a continued groin strain.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.
“After Budapest, Asafa missed eight days of training before he could attempt to sprint again. When he returned to the track he was able to sprint but it caused the groin to flare up,” Powell’s agent Paul Doyle said in a statement.
“He has received all sorts of treatments over the past two weeks in the hope of being prepared to run the 100m here in Daegu, but today Asafa made the final decision not to run. He feels he would not be at 100% and may have trouble coming back after each round.”
Despite the injury, however, Powell is still expected to join Bolt and his teammates in the 4x100m relay.
“Asafa is very disappointed to say the least,” Doyle explained. “He was really hoping to be able to run in what was going to be one of the most anticipated races of the championships.
“He is still optimistic to be able to run the relay.”
The men’s 100m gets under way on Saturday with the final set for Sunday. Powell’s training partner Michael Frater, who has the same time as Bolt, at 9.88 this year, is next up to join the defending champion, Nesta Carter and Yohan Blake as the Jamaican representatives.
Powell joined Americans Tyson Gay and Mike Rogers, as well as Jamaican Steve Mullings, as the high-profiled sprinters who will miss the 100m.