Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, who was once the world’s fastest man, last night tumbled out of contention for a spot at this summer’s World Championships in Russia, leaving a massive cloud of doubt over his future.
The 30-year-old could only manage a 7th-place finish in the 100m event at the National Trials, with only the top three guaranteed spots at the athletic showpiece in Moscow.
The shocking result saw the sprinter missing out on a top-three spot at the Jamaica National Trials for the first time since he rose to prominence.
Current double world record holder Usain Bolt took the event in a pedestrian stroll clocking 9.94, with Racers teammate, Kemar Bailey-Cole, second in an impressive 9.98 and Nickel Ashmeade finishing third in 9.99.
Powell clocked 10.22, a distant cry from his personal best of 9.72, which placed the sprinter comfortably among the biggest names in world sprinting.
“It is very frustrating to know that I didn’t get to finish in the top three, but that is how it goes, I have to just work on it and try and come back,” Powell told The Gleaner.
“I am not race fit and I have to just work on it.”
Ahead of last night’s final, Powell had once again promised much, easing up metres from the line to clock 10.02 seconds in winning his opening heat.
The athlete also shutting down metres from the line in the semi-final, finished in third place behind Nesta Carter (9.97) and Bailey-Cole (10.02) with a time of 10.05.
He was, however, slowly away in the final, never really got going and seemed to again shut down once out of contention.
“I was in great shape, but not very fit to run the rounds, but I was running very fast, so I just got tired through the rounds,” Powell sought to explain.
“I have to just go back to training and there are a few more races for this season. I just have to focus on that, as I didn’t make it for the top three for Moscow, but I will still be competing.”
Powell suffered a hamstring injury in March, and had been doubtful for the National Trials.
However, last week, Stephen Francis, the athlete’s coach at the MVP Track Club had indicated that he was in good form ahead of the trials.
“I just have to think positive; I can’t really let this get me down. I just have to go back to training, go to Europe and just compete.”
Article by Ryon Jones, Jamaica Gleaner
Photo by Ricardo Makyn