Jamaica’s Asafa Powell has pulled out of today’s 100 metres showdown with triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt and American Tyson Gay in Stockholm, Sweden, because of injuries, his management company said Thursday.
“This morning, Asafa tested himself with starts from blocks and was just unable to push from the blocks without severe pain,” said a statement on Doyle Management Group’s website (www.doylemanagement.com).
“I am absolutely devastated,” said Powell, who shares the fastest time in the world with Bolt this season, 9,82 seconds.
“I have been running very well and I was hoping that I would be in the race with a solid chance to win,” said Powell, the former 100 metres world record holder.
“But with the way I have been feeling I know it would be difficult to even finish the race.”
The race at Stockholm’s Diamond League meeting was to have been the first meeting this year of the three fastest 100 metres sprinters of all-time.
Bolt holds the world record at 9,58 seconds with Gay owning a personal best of 9,69 and Powell 9,72.
Powell was first hurt when he suffered a minor groin injury in the Paris Diamond League meeting last month and since then other issues have occurred.
“As the groin injury healed over the ensuing days, a back and hamstring problem developed,” the statement added.
The problem, described as a tightness and severe pain, prevented him from training for about 10 days after Paris.
The pain has since eased but he has been unable to train at maximum effort.
Bolt is in good shape and unruffled by the prospect of his first 100m showdown with top sprint rival Tyson Gay.
“My foot is getting better, I’m training hard, I’ve been working out, so I’m getting there,” Bolt said at the launch of his new clothing range at a packed sports store in Stockholm on Wednesday.