News Americas, DAEGU, Korea, Fri. Aug. 26, 2011: Usain Bolt looks set to keep his world record at the IAAF World Championships this weekend in Korea, amidst a confirmation Thursday that his main competitor, former world’s fastest man, Asafa Powell, is out of the competition.
Doyle Management, the firm which represents Powell, released a statement yesterday that said: “Asafa Powell has officially withdrawn from the 100-m event in Daegu citing a continued groin strain.”
Powell, the former 100m World record holder and bronze medalist in the event at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships, is the fastest man this season at 9.78.
He suffered a groin strain in Budapest on July 30th and has had recurring tightness and pain ever since, according to his management.
“Asafa is very disappointed to say the least. He was really hoping to be able to run in what was going to be one of the most anticipated races of the championships. He is still optimistic to be able to run the relay,” the statement added.
Bolt, who has only managed a relatively conservative 9.88s this season, 0.30 slower than the World record he set in Berlin two years ago, told a packed media throng in the Daeduk Cultural Centre this week that he is regarding this season as “a comeback season.”
“I’m coming back from injury and I’m working really hard to get back into tip-top shape,” he said. “So I don’t think I’m in 9.5 shape, but I definitely will be able to run fast.”
He also happy to agree with Tyson Gay’s reported prediction that he would win again in Daegu because of his “championship pedigree.”
“I proved it twice so I guess he knows what he’s talking about,” Bolt responded with a grin. “At Championships I believe I am much more focused. And now I want it even more because I want to be a legend. I’ve been working this week. I’m focused and I’m ready so – I’m going to get it done.”
The heats of 100-m race is tomorrow, August 27th while the finals is on Sunday, August 28th.