André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Under the radar, deep within the shadows, Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell is quietly staking a claim for sport's richest prize; Olympic gold.
Once the face of Jamaican and international sprinting, Powell has long been replaced at the top of the pyramid by compatriot and triple Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt.
With the ever-growing popularity of world champion Yohan Blake along with the American pair of Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin, Powell's star has fallen further down the pecking order, but in the world of sport and particularly in his pet event, things tend to change quickly.
The former 100m world record holder seems to relish being away from the spotlight, but with a season best of 9.85 and multiple 9.88 runs this year, Powell can certainly not be ignored in today's 100m semi-finals and final, which he is expected to qualify for.
The 29-year-old, who is most likely making his last Olympic appearance in the 100m, looked comfortable in qualifying, clocking 10.04 to win his heat.
However, with the lights focused on the likes of Bolt, Blake and his American counterparts, Powell is comfortable in his own spot, as he looks to secure his first individual Olympic medal, here in London.
"Medal? We'll see," Powell said. "I'm just more confident, I have really learned how to control my anxiety and control everything around me and just focus on myself."
Powell aggravated his groin injury during the Jamaican Olympic trials in June, and was forced to seek treatment between rounds to be able to compete, and despite admitting that he was not 100 per cent physically, the speedster says that he is not allowing the issue to be a distraction.
"I feel very good, it's the first round so I just went out there to get the cobwebs out of my system and make sure I was in front," Powell said. "I think I executed quite well, if you look at it you will see where the (starting) blocks went back, slipped all the way back, but it didn't throw me off too much."