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Powell withdraws from big meets with injury

25 April 2007

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By Gary Smith

World record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica has pulled out of this weekend’s Penn Relays in Philadelphia, and the Jamaica International Invitational Meet scheduled for May 5 in Kingston because of injury.

The 24-year-old was slated to compete as part of Jamaica’s 4x100 relay team in the USA vs the World series at Penns before running the 100m dash in Kingston, but tendonitis in his knee has forced him to withdrew from both meets.

After setting the world record of 9.77 seconds in 2005 and equaling it twice during a successful undefeated campaign last year, Powell has targeted winning the gold medal at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, this summer and his manager Paul Doyle said he will not run if he is not at 100 per cent fit.

"We don't want him to race at full speed if he is not 100 per cent.... we just want to play it safe," Doyle said.

Powell pulled out of the Mt SAC Relays a week ago because of the injury, but Doyle remained optimistic that the world record holder will soon be back at full strength.

"It’s not too serious," Doyle said of the injury sustained by Powell, who is currently still training with his coach Steven Francis in Kingston.

"He is still training, but we are just going play it day by day. We just want to play it safe," he added.

It is still not certain as to when the sprinter will make his international debut this season.

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