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Powell concedes time slipping away for major title

Published:Sunday | August 28, 2011 | 12:00 AM

DAEGU, South Korea (CMC):

Luckless Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell knows that at age 28, he may have squandered his last real chance at a World Championship title, but he has now fixed his sights on the London 2012 Olympics to find redemption.

As the fastest man in the world this year, Powell arrived here as a legitimate contender for the marquee 100 metres, but was forced to pull out of the event on Thursday after failing to recover from a persistent groin injury.

For all his 80 sub-10 clockings - the most by anyone in the history of the sport - he is yet to win a major title and with time slowly ticking away, is beginning to question if fate has conspired against him.

"I think about it a lot, that every time it comes to the big one there's always something that stops me from getting it," he told reporters here yesterday.

"But that's just bad luck and I've got to hope for the best for the next one. I made a decision not to compete to make sure I can be back for the Olympics, which I'm also really excited about.

"It was very tough for me, I've run with pain on many occasions, but this time around it was too much pain. I couldn't risk going out there and finishing way back in the field."

At the Berlin World Championships two years ago, he finished third and was a mere spectator as compatriot Usain Bolt raced to a mind-boggling 9.58 seconds to claim gold.

A year earlier at the Beijing Olympics, Powell flopped spectacularly after winning his semi-final impressively in a time of 9.91 seconds, again trailing home Bolt to finish a disappointing fifth.

Plagued by injuries

Rewind even further to Osaka at the 2007 Worlds and the story was much the same as Powell was third behind American Tyson Gay, who is missing this year's showpiece through injury.

A groin injury ruled him out of the 2005 event in Helsinki and at the Athens Olympics in 2004, he placed fifth after entering the final as the fastest qualifier.

Yesterday, he was forced to flirt with the possibility he may never win one of the big events.

"Definitely, I would be disappointed if I didn't win one of the major world titles," he said.

"But I'll retire as one of the best sprinters that's ever touched the track and that's something to be happy about."