Asafa Powell makes low-key return to the track

Updated: 27 March 2013 14:37 IST

Powell says he has fully recovered from the left hamstring injury which caused him to pull up in the 100-meter race at last year's London Olympics won by his countryman Usain Bolt.

Stawell, Australia:

Asafa Powell will find the crowd smaller and the surface a whole lot different when he competes this weekend in the Stawell Gift, a century-old handicap race held in a small town in western Victoria state.

Powell, who says he's fully recovered from the left hamstring injury which caused him to pull up in the 100-meter race at last year's London Olympics won by his countryman Usain Bolt, will start from scratch.

Starting from a mark one meter ahead of him will be Australia's best sprinter, Josh Ross, who has twice won the 131-year-old Stawell Gift and is one of only two runners to win it off scratch.

Other competitors will be lined up at various starting positions on the track according to their 100-meter qualifying times.

Powell says the turf track at the country town's Central Park should pose no problems because he trains on grass regularly at home in Jamaica.

"I've been working very hard after London," the 30-year-old Powell said on Wednesday. "I went into recovery and then started training in October.

"I'm in good shape, if not the best yet because I'm still in background training and I haven't really started speed training. I'm strong right now and very excited to see what I can do on the track."

Powell, who has set the 100-meter world record more times than any other runner, was encouraged to compete in Stawell by fellow Jamaican Michael Frater, who was eliminated in the Australian race's semifinals last year.

Heats for the race take place on Saturday with the semifinals and final on Monday.

Stawell is a former gold rush town located about 235 kilometers (145 miles) west of Melbourne. Its biggest single tourist attraction each year is the Gift.

Topics : Athletics
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