Asafa Powell pulls out of the 100 meters at worlds

By RAF CASERT | August 25, 2011 | 5:15 AM EDT

DAEGU, South Korea (AP) — Asafa Powell has been ruled out of the 100 meters at the world championships because of a groin injury, eliminating defending champion Usain Bolt's biggest rival from the marquee event.

Powell's manager Paul Doyle told The Associated Press on Thursday that the injury sustained several weeks ago was still giving the fastest man of the season trouble.

He added that Powell could be fit by the time of the 4x100 relay during the final weekend of the championships.

"The groin strain is still lingering," Doyle said. "He is not quite 100 percent."

The 100-meter heats open on Saturday and the race is traditionally the highlight of the championships. It is also the opening race in Bolt's quest for three sprint gold medals.

American rival Tyson Gay was injured in June and two other top performers are not in Daegu because of doping scandals, leaving Bolt with few credible challengers.

Powell had been running fast all through the season until he pulled out of the Crystal Palace Diamond League meet as a precautionary measure to protect his groin.

Doyle said it would take up to four more days to have a full recovery and did not rule him out for the Sept. 4 relay final. With Bolt, Jamaica is favored to win that race and defend its title.

Doyle said the succession of three races over the weekend would have been too much at this stage for Powell.

"The running of the rounds would be problematic," he said.

Doyle said the decision to pull out of the 100 was taken after extensive testing in Daegu.

"The next day, it is still very sore again," Doyle said.