PORTLAND, Sporting Alert – Asafa Powell will take a stab at winning his first major global individual title when he gets going in the men’s 60m heats at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships here in Portland, Ore., on Friday.
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Powell, the fastest entrants in Portland, with a time of 6.49 seconds, has won gold medals on Jamaica’s 4x100m relay teams at the Olympics and World Championships but has struggled to break through the barriers individually at these same major championships.
The former world record holder over 100m believes that running at the World Indoor Championships will help him to handle the pressure at this summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The Jamaican speedster will open his account in heat five of the 60m preliminaries where he will come up against Dutch sprinter Churandy Martina and Bahamas’ Adrian Griffith.
Powell will be the only Jamaican male sprinter in the 60m.
Americans Trayvon Bromell, Marvin Bracy and Michael Rodgers are expected to be three of the main challengers to Powell, along with the experienced Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis, who is also running very well.
Despite being the fastest in the field, Powell is not favourite to win the gold in Portland, according to Track and Field News’ medal predictions.
The well-respected running magazine believes Bromell will get home ahead of the Jamaican.
Meanwhile, some other events to look out for on the schedule for Friday’s first full day of competition are the women’s Pentathlon, men’s Heptathlon, as well as women’s 400m, men’s 800m and women’s and men’s 1500m heats.
Two finals will be contested on Friday night, with medals up for grab in the women’s long jump and men’s shot put. There are also two on the track in the men’s 60m and women’s 60m hurdles.