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Powell will be missed at Doha Grand Prix, says Qatar Athletics President

9 May 2008

By Gary Smith

As athletes gathered in Doha for Friday’s Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix 2008, the first major meeting of the pre-Olympic year, Qatar Association of Athletics Federation President, Dahlan Al Hamad, expressed his disappointments with the absence of Asafa Powell.

Powell was scheduled to face home favourite Samuel Francis in the men’s 100-metres, but withdrew from the meet with a pulled chest muscle, which has had him sidelined for two months.

"Asafa (Powell) was expected to run here. But unfortunately he is injured at the moment and will not be making to Doha," Dahlan said at a press conference for the meeting earlier this week.

"Hopefully we can have him here next year. Most of the athletes who will be competing here will also be seen at the Olympics in Beijing later this year.

"So people here in Doha will have a great opportunity to witness them," he added.

The world record holder, who opened his season with a time of 10.04 during the Australian Grand Prix series in Melbourne, in February, pulled out two meetings before being advised by doctors to take it easy for a while.

"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," Powell’s manager, Paul Doyle, said after the decision was made last month.

The Jamaican was also booked to compete at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, on June 6 and the Prefontaine Classic on June 8 in Eugene, Ore and his training camp, though being cautious with their every move, is hoping for a speedy recovery.

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