Daegu (South Korea): Asafa Powell pulled out of the Jamaican 4x100-meter relay team Thursday because he has not sufficiently recovered from a groin injury.
Powell`s agent, Paul Doyle, told reporters it would be too much of a risk for the team if Powell were to pull up lame during the event in which Jamaica is a favourite for gold. The heats are Friday and the final is Saturday.
"He would need to take a few more days to fully recover," Doyle said.
Powell had been running fast all through the season until he pulled out of the Crystal Palace Diamond League meet on Aug. 5 as a precaution to protect his groin. It didn`t heal in time for last Sunday`s 100, which was won by Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake after Usain Bolt false-started.
"It would be too much of a risk to the team," Doyle said. "Asafa does not want that responsibility on his shoulders."
Powell anchored the two fastest relays in history, taking the baton from Bolt on the final bend to take it home for gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and at the 2009 worlds in Berlin.
In the 100, Powell is a former world-record holder and always showed promise to win a global title before disappointing at the event. He won bronze at the past two world championships.
With stars such as Bolt, Blake and Nesta Carter, the Jamaicans will still start out as heavy favorites over a United States team missing its best sprinter, the injured Tyson Gay.
The withdrawal added to a miserable month for Powell. He seemed primed to challenge Bolt in Daegu and ran 9.78 seconds in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 30 for the top time of the season.
After pulling out of the 100, Doyle said he was still confident that Powell would have enough time to fully recover. But no longer.
"He is training well, and should be fine in a few more days," he said.