Former 100m world-record holder Asafa Powell hangs up his spikes

By Sports Desk November 27, 2022
Asafa Powell Asafa Powell

After a career spanning two decades and characterized by fast times and world records but blighted by injury and unfulfilled potential, Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell has called time on his career.

One of the fastest men to have ever lived, Powell, who celebrated his 40th birthday on November 23, was a trailblazer in an era that produced some of the fastest men in the history of track and field namely Usain Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Steve Mullings, among others.

Powell set 100m world records of 9.77 in Athens, Greece in 2005 and 9.74 in Rieti, Italy in 2007. His record was broken by Bolt in New York in 2008 when he ran 9.72 at the Adidas Grand Prix.  Powell lowered his personal best to 9.72 in September 2008, but by then Bolt had taken the record down to 9.69 at the Beijing Olympics.

After breaking 10 seconds for the first time in 2004, Powell went on to run under 10 seconds for the 100m, a record 97 times. It is an achievement that has earned him the moniker ‘Sub-10 King.”

However, despite his amazing talent, Powell never won individual global titles in the blue-riband event. Favoured to win the 100m at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Powell finished fifth. Four years later, he was fifth at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Powell won the Commonwealth Games 100m title in Australia in 2006 and was favoured to win the 100m at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan. However, the six-time Jamaican champion was third behind American Tyson Gay, the gold medallist and Bahamian Derrick Atkins, admitting afterwards that he ‘panicked’.

In 2009, Powell ran his best time in a global final – 9.84 at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany - good enough for bronze behind Usain Bolt, who lowered his own world record to 9.58 with Gay winning silver in a then American record of 9.71.

He was seventh in the 100m final at the London 2012 Games.

Powell won gold medals as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team at the 2016 Rio Olympics and at the World Championships in 2009 in Berlin and 2015 in Helsinki.

He last ran under 10 seconds in 2016 when he ran 9.92 in Hungary. Injury played a significant role in his inability to continue to break 10 seconds with his fastest time in the last six years being 10.02 in Leverkusen, Germany in 2019.

A favourite of female fans across the globe, Powell announced that his career had come to an end at a lavish birthday party late last week that was attended by several prominent figures from Corporate Jamaica, his shoe sponsor Puma as well as former teammates Bolt, Blake, Frater, Carter and Elaine Thompson-Herah.

His agent Paul Doyle, family, and his closest friends were also in attendance.

On Saturday, he shared the news on Instagram.

“18 years!!! Thanks to my sponsors and loyal fans who have supported me over the years. This sport has given me so many opportunities…but I started my track career in 2002 and have had many ups and downs but was never ungrateful for what I have accomplished,” he said.

“I am entering a new phase and a new chapter of my life and a lot more to come from me. I will continue to inspire the younger generation in every way possible.”

Powell married Canadian model Alyshia Miller in a lavish ceremony before family and friends in Montego Bay 2019 and together have two sons.

 

 

 

Related items

  • Thompson-Herah opens with outdoor 7.15s 60m win at Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational Thompson-Herah opens with outdoor 7.15s 60m win at Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational

    Elaine Thompson-Herah began her 2023 campaign with a victory over 60m at the Queen's/Grace Jackson Invitational at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

  • Can Jamaica's growing stock of female sprint hurdlers rise to global dominance? Can Jamaica's growing stock of female sprint hurdlers rise to global dominance?

    For more than a decade now, Jamaica’s women have bossed the 100m.  Veronica Campbell-Brown won Jamaica’s first global 100m gold medal in Osaka in 2007 and since then Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah have basically made the 100m their own with the former winning five world titles and two Olympic titles while Thompson won back to back 100m titles in Brazil in 2016 and 2021 in Tokyo, Japan where she established a new Olympic record of 10.61.

    However, with their dominance of the blue-ribbon sprint at its zenith, the women from the land of wood and water seem poised to begin dominating yet another event, the 100m hurdles. Since the 1990s, Jamaica has done reasonably well at the sprint hurdles.

    Michelle Freeman was the first Jamaican woman to reach a global final and eventually won won global medals in 1993 and 1997. Dionne Rose and Freeman were Jamaica's first ever Olympic finalists, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively in 1996.

    The following year Freeman and Gillian Russell, a 1995 World Championships finalist, went 1-2 at the World Indoor Championships.

    Brigitte Foster-Hylton and Delloreen Ennis-London picked up from them with the former winning silver  at the 2003 World Championships, bronze in 2005. Ennis-London won a silver and bronze at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships respectively.

    Foster-Hylton made the breakthrough at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with a fantastic run to give Jamaica gold, Ennis-London won the bronze. Danielle Williams won Jamaica’s second 100m hurdles gold in Beijing 2015 in Beijing and followed with a bronze medal in 2019.

    Two years later, Megan Tapper created history for Jamaica when she became the first-ever Jamaican woman to win a medal in the 100m hurdles at an Olympic Games when she captured bronze in Tokyo, Japan.

    Then at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Britany Anderson, a finalist in Tokyo in 2021, won silver in the sprint hurdlers.

    Tapper and Anderson are among a growing cadre of Jamaican female sprint hurdlers who are among the very best in the world. Among them are Ackera Nugent, the World U20 60m hurdles record holder who opened her 2023 season with a time of 8.00 indoors and Demisha Roswell, who ran a personal best 12.44 and is the fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year over the 60m hurdles with a 7.98 clocking this past weekend.

    There is also hope that former national record holder Janeek Brown will make a successful return to the event this season after two years of disruption in her personal life and athletic career. Perhaps, the most talented of the lot is 17-year-old Kerrica Hill, who last year succeeded Nugent as World Under 20 champion and who recently turned professional.

    In 2022, Jamaica had four of the 10 fastest women in the world. The USA also had four while Puerto Rico and Nigeria had one each.

     If Jamaica’s women are to reach the pinnacle and find some level of dominance it will require a lot of technical work and consistently fast hurdling to get there but if the 100m women are anything to go by, nothing is beyond their reach.

     

  • Mississippi State Junior Rosealee Cooper runs 8.07 to win 60m hurdles at Bob Pollock Invitational Mississippi State Junior Rosealee Cooper runs 8.07 to win 60m hurdles at Bob Pollock Invitational

    Mississippi State Junior Rosealee Cooper won the Women’s 60m hurdles at the Clemson Bob Pollock Invitational in South Carolina on Friday.

    The 22-year-old former St. Jago High standout ran 8.07 to win ahead of Tennessee’s Charisma Taylor (8.10) and Amber Hughes (8.20) who ran unattached.

    Jamaican 2015 World Champion in the 100m hurdles, Danielle Williams, was also in the race but was disqualified after a false start. She had earlier run 8.07 in the prelims to advance as the fastest qualifier.

    Elsewhere, Antiguan Tennessee Junior Joella Lloyd ran 7.21 to finish third in the 60m behind teammate Jacious Sears (7.17) and Nike’s Kayla White (7.20).

    Lloyd represented Antigua & Barbuda in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 as well as the World Championships and Commonwealth Games in 2022.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.