STAWELL, Australia (Sporting Alert) — Jamaican sprinter ace Asafa Powell has been forced to withdraw from Stawell Gift meet in Australia because of an injury.
The former 100 metres world record holder raced over 120m and finished third in his heat to make Monday’s semifinals, but pulled out of the event after complaining about a tight hamstring, the same left muscle that forced him to stop during the London Olympic Games last summer.
Powell said he felt the tightness during his warmup for the race, but decided to run anyways to please the track and field fans who came out to see him.
He did not run at full speed, but managed to clock 12.24 seconds.
“I was having some issues with it over the past few days,” Powell was quoted as saying.
“I had a good practice session yesterday but in the warm-up today it felt real tight.
“At one point I was saying I didn’t want to risk it but everyone seemed so excited to see me run so I thought I would see what I could do.”
Powell confirmed that he would not risk further problems by competing in the rest of the meeting.
Asked if he would come back to run on Monday, the 30-year-old said, “No, I definitely can’t run.
“The hammy is giving me some problems. It wouldn’t be fair to me to go out there and push it.
“From the 30m the leg started to get real tight. I came out of the drive phase to start running but I wasn’t running 100 percent. I was being very cautious.
“I really wanted to give the crowd the performance today, I tried my best but I have a long season ahead of me so I have to be mindful of that as well.”
The injury now leaves Asafa Powell in doubt to race in the 100 meters at next weekend’s IAAF Melbourne Track Classic.