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Asafa Takes The Silver

Asafa Powell stumbled from the blocks and found himself behind his rivals in the finals of at the IAAF World Indoor Championship on Friday March 18, 2016 at the Oregon Convention Centre, USA. It took raw speed to get him back into the frame but it was too little too late to catch Trayvon Bromell who won in a time of 6.47. The twenty year old Burrell got the start of his life and was too smart to let it slip.

A day earlier those of us who love T&F and appreciate what the great man has done for T&F in general and Jamaica’s T&F in particular were cautiously hoping that the promise of his world leading 6.44 in the heats and repeated in the semis would finally allow Asafa to stand at the top of a podium in international competition.

It was not to be. He copped second in a time of 6.50. The post-race look of deflation worn by the thirty-three year old Asafa, was the tired anticipation of a man who expected to see and hear the dreaded word which has bedeviled him since his high school days. Sure enough the UK Guardian in banner headlines reported ‘Asafa Powell Chokes Again’.

Ramon Gittens of Barbados collected his first medal in a global event and took third in a time of 6.51 a national record. China’s XieZhenyetook fourth in 6.53 ahead of his countryman Su Bingtian in 6.54 and the thirty-seven year old Kim Collins completed the tightly bunched pack in 6.56.

Much has changed in athletics over the last decade, but one constant has been that, for all his promise, Jamaica’s Asafa Powell remains unable to produce his best form on the biggest stage.

He once again flopped to second tonight behind American Trayvon Bromell in the 60 metres final at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

Powell, who served an 18 month ban after failing a drugs test for oxilofrine in 2013, has only ever won World Championships or Olympic gold medals in the relay, despite being a former 100m world record holder and broken the 10 second barrier 94 times, more than anyone else.

The 33-year-old claimed fifth places in the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic 100m finals, and took bronze medals at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships, despite being heavily favoured to win gold on the former occasion before being overshadowed by fellow countryman Usain Bolt in the latter.

Powell looked set to break his hoodoo today in the absence of Bolt after clocking a blistering 6.44sec in the heat and semi-final, the quickest time in the world this year and fifth fastest ever.

In the final, though, he slipped to 6.50 as Bromell claimed the gold medal with 6.47.

The 20-year-old is a rising star of the US team, having claimed a 100m bronze medal at last year’s World Championships in Beijing.

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