Much has changed in athletics over the last decade, but one constant has been that, for all his promise, Jamaica’s Asafa Powell remains unable to produce his best form on the biggest stage.
He once again flopped to second tonight behind American Trayvon Bromell in the 60 metres final at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
Powell, who served an 18 month ban after failing a drugs test for oxilofrine in 2013, has only ever won World Championships or Olympic gold medals in the relay, despite being a former 100m world record holder and broken the 10 second barrier 94 times, more than anyone else.
The 33-year-old claimed fifth places in the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic 100m finals, and took bronze medals at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships, despite being heavily favoured to win gold on the former occasion before being overshadowed by fellow countryman Usain Bolt in the latter.
Powell looked set to break his hoodoo today in the absence of Bolt after clocking a blistering 6.44sec in the heat and semi-final, the quickest time in the world this year and fifth fastest ever.
In the final, though, he slipped to 6.50 as Bromell claimed the gold medal with 6.47.
The 20-year-old is a rising star of the US team, having claimed a 100m bronze medal at last year’s World Championships in Beijing.
“It was a great race,” Bromell said.
“I know those guys are great competitors so I said to myself ‘When I hear the gun go off, you got to go, you got to power out.
“I’m just here to have fun, run my race, run my event as best I can as long as I can and have fun with the sport.”
Powell, whose only senior individual Championship gold medal came a decade ago over 100m at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, admitted afterwards to being “happy with a medal but I’m not overly excited because if I’d run a 6.44 in the final I would have won the gold medal”.
Ramon Gittens of Barbados came third in 6.51, with China’s Xie Zhenye running a personal best 6.53 to just miss a podium place in fourth.
Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton was another star of the first full day of competition, snatching pentathlon gold with victory in the final event, the 800m.
Theisen-Eaton trailed by more than 100 points to Ukraine’s Anastasiya Mokhnyuk heading into the two-lap finale.
Cheered on by her husband, America’s Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton, she blasted clear of the field to win in 2min 09.03sec as Mokhnyuk faded.
She won with 4,881 points, ahead of two Ukrainians, Mokhnyuk with 4,847 points and Alina Fodorova with 4,770.
Eaton remains on course to make it a perfect family weekend, leading the heptathlon with 3,564 points after four events to close in on a third successive title.
Germany’s Kurt Felix lies second with 3,501 and Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine third with 3,420.
- By Nick Butler
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz