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Asafa Powell is an athlete competing in track and field at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for Jamaica. He is a medal contender in the men's 100m. The former world record holder has been unable to come up big in big individual races and is still seeking his first individual Olympic medal. He won gold on Jamaica's 4x100m in Beijing.

Asafa Powell was slated to run the Diamond League London Grand Prix, however he pulled out, citing a groin strain. Later in late August, just a couple of days before the start of the World Championships, Powell shocked the world by pulling out of the highly anticipated 100m as his groin strain aggravated and did not allow him to compete. Powell expressed great disappointment, but still hoped to run the 4x100m relay in Daegu. However, he was unfit to run the relay and had to watch his compatriots win gold in a world record time of 37.04. Powell competed in the 100m at the Diamond League Final in Zurich, finishing second to newly-crowned world champion Yohan Blake, but won the season-long title and the $40,000 prize.

Keeping his greater goal of greatness at the Daegu World Championships in mind, Powell was conservative in his approach to early-season racing in 2011. He opened with a 200m race at the UTech Classic, where he looked strong for the first 140 meters before slowing down considerably in a third-place finish in 20.55. After two stints on Jamaica's 4x100m relay, he returned for another 200m in Kingston, this time at the Jamaica International Invitational, where he ran hard for the first 120 meters before again slamming the breaks before a last-place finish in 21.40. Afterward, he cited minor hamstring pain as his reason for pulling back. In his first 100m race of the season, Powell got a great start and held off American Mike Rodgers to win the Diamond League meet in Shanghai in 9.95.

After two seasons hampered by early injuries, Asafa Powell was actually the healthy sprinter at the outset of 2010. While Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay nursed injuries for the first seven weeks, Powell dominated the sprint scene. He won the Diamond League meet in Doha in a wind-aided 9.81. At the Golden Spike in Ostrava, Powell established a world-leading time of 9.83 in the 100m and en route to this performance, he also set the rarely-run 100-yard world best of 9.07. He followed that up with another Diamond League victory in Oslo in a wind-aided 9.72, and a wind-legal victory in 9.82 at the Golden Gala in Rome. After winning the 200m at the Jamaican Nationals, Powell returned to the European circuit in Gateshead, where his winning ways were halted by Gay, who edged Powell by .02 in 9.94. Powell's next race, in Paris, yielded another defeat, this time to Bolt who won by .07 in 9.91. During that race, Powell suffered back and hamstring injuries that ended his season.

Powell once again found himself injured during the early portion of the 2009 season. First he was a last-minute no show for the UTech Track and Field Classic, where he was supposed to run the 200m and 4x100m races. Later that April, his position on Jamaica's 4x100m relay at the Penn Relays was moved from third to anchor to account for an ankle injury. Even though Powell did not stress the ankle running the curve, he still pulled up limp and finished last in the race. Powell took the next month off from competition before returning at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, where he finished seventh on a weak-but-not-painful ankle. He did not resemble a runner near full strength until later in the summer when he ran 9.88 in a runner-up finish to Tyson Gay at the Golden Gala in Rome. At the World Championships in Berlin, he won bronze behind Usain Bolt and Gay in the 100m, and anchored Jamaica to victory in the 4x100m.

Seven days after his disappointing showing in the 100m final at the Beijing Olympics, Powell was back on the track as the anchor of Jamaica's 4x100m relay team. Powell got the baton from Usain Bolt and blasted down the straightaway, crossing in a world-record 37.10 seconds. The victory earned Powell his first Olympic medal, but more impressive was his performance against the clock. Powell's split time was recorded at 8.70 seconds according to a USATF High Performance Registered Split Analysis, a time which bettered his previous personal-best of 8.84 set at the world Championships in Osaka in 2007. His split was also the fastest electronically-timed anchor run in history. "Bullet" Bob Hayes was hand-timed between 8.6 and 8.9 seconds at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Before the Beijing Olympics, Powell hit back at his critics who claimed that he lacked the mental strength required to make it through the rounds and win an Olympic medal. "It [the Olympics] doesn't scare me," Powell said of the Games. "The guys that I'm running against in Beijing are the same ones I run against all year, it's no different at the Olympics — it's just a name, and you should put that aside until you cross the line. If all you guys look back and check from before, you'll see that Athens was my first Olympics, I ran my personal best in the final — so I'm not sure why people say I don't run my best in finals. The World Championships was the only final where I didn't do as expected. I made a once-in-a-lifetime mistake and it won't happen again. I'm running against myself — I'm the only one who can defeat myself." He wound up finishing fifth in the 100m and out of the medals once again.

Powell's 2008 season started much as his 2007 season ended: With another injury. He was forced to pull out of the Sydney Grand Prix due to a gash on his left knee that required four stitches. The injury was a result of tripping on the steps of his home, hours before getting on the flight to Australia. Powell injured himself again in April, this time with damage to his pectoral muscles. The injury, sustained while weight training in Jamaica, forced him out of competition for two months and required surgery, which left a visible scar on his right underarm.

After false starting at the 2003 Worlds and missing the 2005 Worlds due to injury expectations for Powell were high entering the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan. In 2005, he set the world record of 9.77 in the 100m, a time he equaled twice in 2006 to run away with IAAF Male Athlete of the Year honors. But Powell was left disappointed again after finishing third behind American Tyson Gay (9.85) and Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas (9.91).

It didn't take long for Powell to rebound from his substandard performance in Osaka — or to predict bigger things to come. Two weeks later, Powell shattered his 100m world record with a victory in 9.74 seconds at the IAAF Grand Prix in Rieti, Italy. "In Osaka, I was too tense," Powell said. "I thought too much about my race and the time I was hoping to achieve. On the other hand I was very relaxed in coming here (Rieti). That means I could run 9.68."

As a young, late-blooming Jamaican sprinter, Powell served notice that he would be a medal contender in Athens in the 100m when he ran a 9.91 at the Jamaican Championships in June 2004. It was the same time that Maurice Greene ran at the U.S. Olympic Trials, but Powell didn't have strong competitors pushing him. Later that month July, he beat Greene in London, again posting a 9.91. And in early August at a meet in Zurich, Powell bested Greene yet again, posting a 9.93 to Greene's 9.94.

In 2003, when American Jon Drummond staged his memorable on-the-track protest at the World Championships after being disqualified for a false start in the quarterfinals, Powell was the other sprinter disqualified in that heat. While Drummond refused to leave the track for 15 minutes, Powell was convinced by officials to leave after it became clear they would not be allowed to run the race under protest. He had clocked the fastest first round time at the event with a 10.05.

Coached by Jamaican Stephen Francis, Powell is a religious Christian and the son of two pastors. His parents, mother Reverend Cislyn Powell and father Reverend William Powell, are co-pastors of a non-denominational church in Linstead, Jamaica. The parents didn't allow their children to go to dances and shows. Discipline wasn't an occasional thing — it happened every day, and it helped shape Asafa and his five older brothers.

The Powells have experienced their share of tragedy and suffering. One of Asafa's brothers, Michael, was murdered in a cab in New York City. Another of Asafa's brothers, Vaughn, collapsed and died on a football field in Georgia. Reverend Powell himself was shot in the jaw during a robbery attempt. But Asafa says the family's close bond and devout belief in God have kept them going even in times of great adversity and sadness.

Out of respect for his parents, Asafa chose to attend the University of Technology in nearby Kingston, Jamaica — turning down offers from American universities. He lives and trains there, attending church every week, and staying in close contact with his parents, as well as surviving brothers Donovan, a former Olympian and Asafa's manager, Nigel, and Ricardo. Powell studied coaching and has expressed an interest in electrical engineering. He describes himself as shy and humble.


How tall is Asafa Powell? How old is Asafa Powell? Where does Asafa Powell live? Find out here.

Age: 33 years old
Birthday: November 23, 1982
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 192 lbs.
Birthplace: Linstead, Jamaica
Current Residence: Evarton, Jamaica

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