A king without a crown

Updated: 2011-08-30 07:52

By Lei Lei (China Daily)

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A king without a crown

DAEGU, South Korea - Asafa Powell will have to wait one more year to prove he's the king.

But that's OK.

The Jamaican sprinter said he's nowhere near wrapping up his career after being forced to withdraw from the men's 100m race at the World Athletics Championships with an injury he said is "very bad."

In fact, he thinks he'll be breaking records next year.

"This is not my first injury, so I don't think it will affect my whole career," Powell said. "I had an even more serious injury than this, so I just have to get through this one and start over again.

"Definitely, I still have a future in track and field, and I'm still going. Definitely, next year, I will be up there and if I break the world record, I would be happy. I think I would be in good enough shape to break the world record next year."

The 28-year-old pulled out with a groin injury he suffered last month.

"It's very unfortunate that I'm not able to compete at this World Championships. I'm really looking forward to it because I was very very excited - I was in very good shape and the favorite to win," said Powell, who clocked the fastest 100m time in the world this year at 9.78 seconds.

"I think I made a smart decision not to run because I'm in a lot of pain. The injury is very bad. If I go out there and compete, it might affect my season for next year," he said.

Powell has been waiting a long time to win a world title.

He's run the 100m under 10 seconds on 73 occasions, breaking the mark held by Maurice Greene, who ran it in under 10 seconds 53 times.

He's been pegged as the 100's "king without a crown." The former world record holder takes that as a positive.

"Every time it comes to the big one, there is always something that prevents me from getting it," he said. "But it's just life, and I have to live with it and just hope for the best.

"I'll feel disappointed if I don't finish my career with a global title, but I'll retire as one of the best sprinters that has ever touched the track and that's still something to be happy about."

Powell hopes to recover in time for the 4x100m relay next Sunday.

"I really hope I can be better for the relay because I really want to go there and compete," he said.

"Jamaica will win the relay if I don't run anyway. It's just a matter of what time they will run. If (Yohan) Blake takes the role, they will win. If I'm on the team, it's just that we are running for the world record."

China Daily

(China Daily 08/30/2011 page24)