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Powell overdoes it in weightroom

29 April 2008

By Dave Ungrady

The pursuit of a personal best off the track has sidelined 100-meter world-record holder Asafa Powell from competition likely until the end of June.

Powell's agent, Paul Doyle, said by phone Monday that he does not expect Powell to compete again until the Jamaican National Championships on June 27-29. A pectoral muscle he recently injured while strength training has not healed as quickly as expected.

"We thought it was going to be pretty minor, but after two weeks of it not healing, we got a second opinion, and the doctor feels the pull is much worse than we thought," Doyle said. The assessment came April 22 from Dr. Justin Whitaker in Portland, Ore.

Powell, who set the 100-meter world record of 9.74 seconds on Sept. 9 in Reiti, Italy, tore the muscle while attempting one repetition at 315 pounds in the bench press. Powell's previous best was 300 pounds.

"He can't swing his army fully, can give only about a 60-percent effort," Doyle said. "He's staying fit with intervals and other things that don't require full speed runs. He's not opening up his stride too much."

Powell backed out of his last two scheduled meets earlier this month at the Mt. SAC Relays and the Penn Relays. Powell was scheduled to compete in meets in Doha, Qatar, on May 9, the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, on June 6 and the Prefontaine Classic on June 8 in Eugene, Ore. Doyle was looking into using a private jet to fly Powell from Oslo to land in Eugene the evening of June 6, allowing for a nine-hour time difference.

Doyle said Powell would reconsider competing before the Jamaican trials if his recovery proceeds better than expected.

Powell has endured other injuries during the last several years. He missed the 2005 world championships in August with a groin injury after setting his first world record in June that year. He backed out of meets in April and May last year after injuring a knee tendon in training and opened his 2007 outdoor season at a meet in Yugoslavia on May 29.

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