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Athletics: Powell in doubt for Australia's Stawell Gift

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Jamaican former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell suffered a tight hamstring on Saturday which he said would prevent him from running in Australia's Stawell Gift.

Although his backup team said Powell could still recover in time for Monday's semi-finals and final after responding to physiotherapy, the Jamaican sprint superstar said he would not be risking further hamstring problems by running.

Powell experienced soreness in the hamstring during the warm-up on Saturday, although he still finished third in his heat in 12.32 seconds off the scratch mark.

That time was good enough to book him a spot in Monday's semi-finals.

"No, I definitely can't run (on Monday)," Powell told reporters.

"The hammy is giving me some problems and it wouldn't be fair to me to go out there and push it.

"But I really wanted to give the crowd the performance today.

"From 30 metres, the leg started to get real tight. I came out of the drive phase and just started running.

"But I wasn't running 100 percent."

If Powell pulls out of the Gift, he will incur an automatic 14-day suspension, ruling him out of the 100-metre event at the Melbourne Track Classic on April 6.

But his travelling coach Aundre Edwards said Powell could still be on the start line for the Stawell Gift on Easter Monday.

"The physio is looking at it and it all looks good so far, so we'll wait and see," Edwards said.

"He's still got a day's rest and nothing has been ruled out so far.

"When he spoke to me he didn't feel an injury."

Powell was competing for the first time since damaging his groin in the 100m final at last year's London Olympics.

The 30-year-old, who held the 100m world record for almost three years from June 2005 to May 2008, has seen his status as the fastest man in the world eclipsed by his younger rival and close friend Usain Bolt.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130330/athletics-powell-doubt-australias-stawell-gift