x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

KO threat to Powell and four others

The former 100metres world record holder Asafa Powell and four fellow Jamaican athletes will find out later today if they will be able to compete at the World Championships which begin on Saturday.

BERLIN // The former 100metres world record holder Asafa Powell and four fellow Jamaican athletes will find out later today if they will be able to compete at the World Championships which begin on Saturday. Powell, the 100m Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser, 400m Olympic gold medallist Melaine Walker, hurdler Brigitte Foster-Hylton and sprinter Shericka Williams had failed to report for a Jamaican national team training camp in Nuremberg prompting speculation they could be taken off the team.

"We will find out this evening," Walker said from her team hotel. "That is all I know." "I will not quarrel with any decision they [Jamaican athletics officials] will take. I came here to run and if I run that's fine. If they do not want me to run that is their decision." The IAAF secretary general Pierre Weiss earlier confirmed Jamaican officials had requested to remove them from the team but no final decision had been taken yet.

According to Powell's agent, Paul Doyle, they were under the impression that the attendance to the camp was not mandatory. It was only on Monday when he realised the seriousness of the matter when he received an email from Howard Aris, president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association, that implied five athletes could miss the championships. A decision is expected after the official deadline for withdrawals ends midday. Jamaican officials attending the world body congress meet ahead of the tournament declined to comment.

Powell is the third big name after compatriot Usain Bolt and American Tyson Gay for the sprint events. Any pull out would seriously undermine Jamaica's chances of maintaining their domination over the United States they established at last year's Beijing Olympics when the country won five out of six events. Powell is a key part of the relay team. * Reuters