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Asafa Powell withdraws from Australian handicap race

Photo: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Asafa Powell held the world record in the 100 meters from 2005 until 2008, and has broken the 10-second barrier more times than anyone.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Former world record holder Asafa Powell has withdrawn from Monday's Stawell Gift handicap race in Australia because of a nagging hamstring injury which forced him to pull up during the 100-meter final at the London Olympics.

The Jamaican runner experienced soreness during warm-ups Saturday for the 120-meter race in western Victoria state, his first competitive appearance since London. The 30-year-old was unable to run at full speed and finished third in his heat in 12.24 seconds after starting from scratch.

He contacted the Stawell Athletic Club on Monday to say he is still experiencing tightness in his hamstring. Powell will have an MRI in Melbourne on Tuesday.

After pulling out of the Stawell race he gets an automatic 14-day suspension, ruling him out of the 100 meters at next Saturday's IAAF Melbourne Track Classic. Stawell is about 145 miles west of Melbourne, and the lucrative Gift has been run annually since the 19th century gold rush in the region.

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