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Powell doubtful, Collins out of Commonwealth Games

16 January 2006

Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, the 100m world record holder, may withdraw from the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia in March.

A report from Australia also noted that 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins from St Kitts and Nevis would definitely miss the event. Since completing his season in 2005, where he surprisingly won a bronze medal, Collins has not resumed training, which effectively rules him out of running in Melbourne.

Powell, who injured his groin at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in London last summer, has not fully recovered from the injury, and according to teammate Sandie Richards, the sprinter may be forced to pull out.

"He might not be here because he is still recovering...He is training, but he is still not 100 per cent," Richards told reporters in Australia on Sunday.

"It really depends on the injury. He doesn't want to come back and re-injure it so early in the season.

"When I left home a couple of weeks ago, he still wasn't sure about (coming to Australia)."

"He had a 2.5-centimetre tear in his groin area … he is recovering from that and we are not very sure as yet."

Last October Powell revealed that he was gunning for three gold medals at the games and his withdrawal would be a disaster for Melbourne 2006 organisers, following the withdrawal of Australian swimmer Grant Hackett and Ian Thorpe's decision to only compete in shorter swimming events.

Several Jamaican stars, including Olympic 400m hurdles silver medallist Danny McFarlene and world championships 100m silver medallist Michael Frater have voiced their opinions on the timing of the Commonwealth Games.

In the meantime, the event organisers said they were not aware of any changes to Powell's itinerary, his quest for three gold medals were still strong.

Media reports last week suggested that Powell's participation was a 50/50 chance, but Games official Maurie Plant played down those statements.

According to Plant, he "spoke to the sprinter's management last week and was told that travel bookings for the sprinter to come to Melbourne were being made and he was a better than 50/50 chance to run at the MCG."

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